Former city councilman Jon Yoshimura announced Friday that he will run in the special election to fill the Honolulu City Council vacancy left by Tulsi Gabbard.
"The people of Hawaii have chosen well in their resounding support for Tulsi Gabbard. She has actively service District 6 with honor and integrity that I will continue," said Gabbard.
Council District 6 includes includes Makiki, Downtown Honolulu, Punchbowl, Liliha, Pauoa Valley, Nuuanu, Alewa Heights, Papakolea, Kalihi Valley, and a portion of Kalihi.
Whomever is elected will serve the remaining two years of Gabbard's term. A special election is scheduled to be held on General Election day.
Yoshimura was first elected to the city council in 1994 and served as council chair from 1999 to 2002.
But, his career was marred by a 1999 drinking and driving incident in which he left the scene after hitting a parked car. Yoshimura publicly apologized for his mistake and accepted his suspension from practicing law for six months for lying to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Since then, Yoshimura says he has spoken out about the negative effects of drinking and driving.
"Professionally, I did a lot of things I'm proud of. But personally, I made mistakes that I'm ashamed of. While I regret the gross error of judgment, it has proven to be one of the biggest and most important lessons in my life," said Yoshimura. "Ten years have passed since I left the City Council. I've learned a lot, matured, gained wisdom working for one of Hawaii;s most beloved public servants, and the passion for public service still burns in my heart."
Yoshimura served as Sen. Daniel Akaka's communications director for more than six years.
Last year, he returned to the islands to accept a position as an executive with SolarCity, a national company in clean energy services with local operations in Mililani.