Jeanné Kapela

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Jeanné Kapela
Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives
from the 5th district
Assumed office
November 3, 2020
Preceded byRichard Creagan
Personal details
Born1994/1995 (age 25–26)
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materKapiolani Community College
  • Politician
  • beauty pageant titleholder

Jeanné Kapela is an American politician and beauty pageant titleholder who has represented Hawaii's fifth district in the Hawaii House of Representatives since 2020. A Democrat, Kapela also was previously crowned Miss Hawaii 2015, and competed in Miss America 2016.

Early life and education[edit]

Kapela is a native of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.[1] Her father is Clifford Gaspar and her mother is Keahi Kapela.[2][1] She was raised by her maternal grandmother Barbara Kapela on a coffee farm in Captain Cook, Hawaii, where the family lived in poverty.[3][4]

Kapela is a 2012 graduate of Konawaena High School in Kealakekua, Hawaii, and attended Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu.[5][2]


In November 2013, Kapela won the Miss Kona Coffee title then competed in the 2014 Miss Hawaii pageant.[6][3][7] She performed a lyrical dance during the talent competition and her platform was "Support Our Students: Empowering Hawaii's Youth to Achieve Their Dreams".[6] Kapela was named was second runner-up for the state title.[8][2][9]

In October 2014, Kapela was crowned Miss Kaka'ako 2015 which made her eligible to compete at the 2015 Miss Hawaii pageant.[9][10][1] Entering the state pageant in May 2015 as one of 29 finalists, Kapela's preliminary competition talent was a lyrical dance routine to "My Heart Will Go On" as performed by Tioni Tam Sing.[9][11] She won both the talent and swimsuit portions of the competition.[2][9] Her platform, "Sex Trafficking: #ItEndsWithUs" is a campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking.[11] Kapela is the executive director of the non-profit organization UNITE! dedicated to preventing human trafficking.[3]

Kapela won the statewide competition on Saturday, May 30, 2015, when she received her crown from outgoing Miss Hawaii titleholder Stephanie Steuri.[9] Kapela dedicated her victory to the memory of her grandmother.[3][9] Kapela earned more than $30,000 in scholarship money and a new automobile from Cutter Ford for winning the state pageant.[2] As Miss Hawaii, her activities include public appearances across the state.

Kapela was Hawaii's representative at the Miss America 2016 pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in September 2015.[11][12] In the televised finale on September 13, 2015, she placed outside the Top 15 semi-finalists and was eliminated from competition. She was awarded a $3,000 scholarship prize as her state's representative.[13][14] In addition, Kapela was awarded a $2,000 scholarship for her selection as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.[15]

Political career[edit]

In 2020, Kapela won the Democratic nomination for district 5 of the Hawaii House of Representatives.[16] She was later elected to the seat in the 2020 Hawaii House of Representatives election, and took office on November 6, 2020.


  1. ^ a b c Genegabus, Jason (May 30, 2015). "Kapela crowned Miss Hawaii 2015". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Honolulu, HI: Black Press. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Stanton, Karin (May 30, 2015). "Miss Hawaii 2015: Jeanne Kapela". Hawaii 24/7. Hawaii Island: Baron Sekiya. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Kona contestant named Miss Hawaii". West Hawaii Today. Kailua-Kona, HI: Black Press. June 3, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  4. ^ "Jeanné Kapela". Hawaii House of Representatives. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  5. ^ "Kapela is newly-crowned Miss Hawaii". Honolulu, HI: KITV. June 3, 2015. Archived from the original on June 15, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "State Contestants: Hawaii - 2014". Miss America. 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  7. ^ "Past Title Holders". Kona District, HI: Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  8. ^ Berger, John (June 8, 2014). "Steuri crowned Miss Hawaii 2014". Honolulu Pulse. Honolulu, HI: Black Press. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Berger, John (May 30, 2015). "Kapela crowned Miss Hawaii 2015". Honolulu Pulse. Honolulu, HI: Black Press. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Jeanné Kapela - Miss Kaka'ako". Miss Hawaii. Retrieved June 13, 2015 – via Oceanic Time Warner Cable.
  11. ^ a b c "Miss Hawaii 2015 Ms. Jeanné Kapela". Hawaii News Now. Honolulu, HI: Raycom Media. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  12. ^ "Miss Kakaako Jeanne Kapela crowned Miss Hawaii 2015". Honolulu, HI: KHON-TV. May 30, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  13. ^ "Miss America Show Scholarships 2016". Miss America. Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  14. ^ "The 2016 Miss America Competition Scholarships & Awards" (Press release). Miss America. September 16, 2015. Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  15. ^ "Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell, Crowned Miss America 2016" (Press release). Miss America. September 13, 2015. Archived from the original on September 16, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  16. ^

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Stephanie Steuri
Miss Hawaii
Succeeded by
Allison Chu