KONA, Hawaii - Miss Hawai’i 2015 Jeanné Kapela announces her candidacy for the Hawai’i State House of Representatives, District 5, which runs from North and South Kona to West Ka’u. Kapela, who is 23-years-old and 50 percent Native Hawaiian, was born in Kona and raised on a small coffee farm in Captain Cook. She graduated from Konawaena High School in 2012.

“Everything I’ve accomplished in my life, thus far, is a result of the values I learned growing up in Kona,“ says Kapela. “I want to inspire our community and its keiki to take pride in the extraordinary place we call home.”

Jeanné was Miss Kona Coffee in 2014 and won the Miss Hawaii crown in 2015, becoming the first person from Kona to win the title in 18 years. She competed at Miss America and won Miss Congeniality.

“Becoming Miss Hawai’i taught me the value of public service,“ says Kapela. “I want to bring that sense of service to West Hawai’i’s residents, who deserve a leader who will put people before politics.”

Jeanné says she is running for office because she wants to protect West Hawai’i’s agricultural and coffee industries, deliver a quality education to all children, and champion the needs of the islands’ workforce.

 “I will work to build community schools that provide our keiki with a quality and well-rounded education, make Hawai’i affordable for hardworking families, and protect local farmers and their products, especially Kona coffee, one of our state’s most iconic treasures,” says Kapela.