Former Hawaii County Councilman Gary Safarik told the Big Island Chronicle he intends to seek the Puna Senate District 2 seat expected once the State Reapportionment Plan is complete. Â Recall that last week Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences Public Charter School Principal Steve Hirakami announced he would also be pursuing that seat. Â Both Safarik and Hirakami will be challenging State Rep. Bob Herkes, who has announced his intention to vacate the House in pursuit of the Senate District 2 seat. Â This will not be the first time that Hirakami and Safarik will be challenging each other in the same race â€” Safarik defeated Hirakami in 2000 election for County Council representing Puna District 5. Â Safarik served as a Puna council member from 2000 until 2006, when Emily Naeole unseated him. Â Safarik said he will make a formal announcement of his intention to run for State Senate in a guest column for Big Island Chronicle, after the Reapportionment Commission finalizes its reapportionment plan.