Councilman Garcia tosses hat in ring for U.S. House
Honolulu City Councilmember Nestor Garcia announced yesterday that he is joining the race for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District seat.
"I'm one that will take risks," Garcia said at a news conference held in front of the Prince Kuhio Federal Building.
While he served as state House representative in the state Legislature, Garcia said, he presided over legislation signed into law that allowed first-time nonviolent offenders battling a drug addiction to undergo treatment instead of being sent straight to prison. In the City Council, Garcia has supported an increase in the general excise tax to pay for mass transit.
If elected to the 2nd Congressional District seat, Garcia said, he plans to focus on education, assistance for families in need, global warming and national security.
"Some three years into the war, we still find ourselves engaging in a debate of whether or not we should engage in Operation Iraqi Freedom," Garcia said. "The Bush administration has failed us in its leadership with this regard, relying on unreliable intelligence in order to engage this country in a war so many miles away."
Garcia said he also plans to look into establishing more adult day-care centers.
From 1991 to 1993, Garcia served as press secretary for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. "This put me in a position to get a firsthand look at how public service can help people, not just here in Hawaii, but across our country," he said.
A year later, Garcia was elected to the state House of Representatives, where he served for eight years.
In 2002 he was elected to the Honolulu City Council. Garcia was re-elected in 2004 and currently serves as chairman of the Council Parks Committee.
He previously worked as vice president for corporate communications with City Bank and as a KHON television news reporter.
Garcia said he currently has $40,000 from his own money to support his campaign.