By Derrick DePledge
Former state Rep. Marilyn Lee has officially announced that she will seek the Mililani House seat she lost in 2012 to state Rep. Beth Fukumoto.
Lee -- and some political observers -- had linked her defeat to mailers dropped by religious conservatives reminding voters of her support for civil unions.
But Lee -- who had represented the district for 16 years -- had only narrowly survived a previous challenge by another young Republican in 2010, the demographics of the district had changed, and Fukumoto was among the hardest-working Republican candidates.
Gay marriage might be an issue in the campaign this year, however. Lee supports marriage equality. Fukumoto voted against gay marriage during the special session last fall.
Lee, a registered nurse, pointed to early childhood education, environmental protection, support for local schools and elder care as her priorities.
After 16 years of service in the State Legislature, a break has given me the opportunity to get back to the grass roots in our community. I am inspired and excited to run for the District 36 Representative seat this year.