Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele
Senator Kaiali‘i “Kai” Kahele represents the 1st Senatorial District, which encompasses the greater Hilo area on the Island of Hawai‘i.
Senator Kahele is a Native Hawaiian whose family comes from the small fishing village of Miloli‘i in South Kona. A product of Hawai‘i’s public school system, he graduated from Hilo High School, attended Hawai‘i Community College, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and earned his degree in education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 1998.
Senator Kahele is a Major in the Hawai‘i Air National Guard and a combat veteran pilot in the C-17 Globemaster III, USAF cargo aircraft. He is also a commercial airline pilot with Hawaiian Airlines and a devoted husband and proud father of three beautiful daughters.
A strong proponent of job creation, Senator Kahele is dedicated to strengthening workforce opportunities and small business in Hilo. He also continues to be a champion for the growth and development of higher learning institutions on Hawai‘i Island and firmly believes they are one of the main economic drivers of his community.
Senator Kahele represents the next generation of willing and qualified young leaders ready to serve the community to build a better Hawai‘i for all. He is grounded by his kūpuna and the legacy that many, like his father, created for the State of Hawai‘i.
On February 16, 2016, Governor David Ige appointed Kaiali‘i Kahele as Senator for the 1st Senatorial District. He was sworn into office on February 17, 2016 during the 28th Legislative Session and was subsequently elected on November 8, 2016.
Senator Kahele serves as Chair for the Committee on Higher Education, Vice-Chair for the Committee on Education, and also serves on the Committees for Housing and Ways and Means.