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Democratic Rep. Kai Kahele will retire from Congress, source says

<i>Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images</i><br/>Kai Kahele
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
Kai Kahele

By Annie Grayer and Alex Rogers, CNN

Democratic Rep. Kai Kahele of Hawaii is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

The congressman has been telling colleagues that he intends to run for governor, according to a person close to him. That source said Kahele will make an announcement about his political future in early May.

Punchbowl News first reported that Kahele will leave Congress to run for governor.

The freshman congressman, who has yet to release an official statement on stepping down, was elected in 2020 to replace Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. He was a pilot before he ran for office.

Kahele recently came under fire for his part-time work as a commercial pilot for Hawaiian Airlines, which raised questions of whether he was breaking any ethics rules for continuing his work with the airline.

Questions about Kahele’s work with Hawaiian Airlines arose after the Honolulu Civil Beat published an in-depth story looking into his attendance at the Capitol this year and his personal income since he entered office. The report found that Kahele has voted by proxy at least 120 times since the start of the year, meaning another lawmaker has cast his votes for him.

The congressman defended the arrangement, saying it complied with House Ethics rules. His office also explained that he has not voted in person since January because he is worried about new coronavirus variants and lives in a multigenerational family home. But his office said he remains committed to his work in DC.

Kahele joins more than 40 House members who have announced they’ll be leaving at the end of the term.

This story has been updated with additional details.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Shawna Mizelle contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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