Hanabusa Makes Run for US Senate Official

May 3, 2013, 8:54 AM HST · Updated May 3, 8:57 AM
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Colleen Hanabusa, Aug. 2012 during a Maui visit. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Colleen Hanabusa, Aug. 2012 during a Maui visit. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

US Representative Colleen Hanabusa made her run for the US Senate seat official in an announcement on Thursday.

She will face current US Senator Brian Schatz in the 2014 Democratic Primary.

A letter posted on Hanabusa’s campaign website she said:

“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have been considering my options for 2014. While it has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of the First Congressional District and I have always done so to the best of my ability, I believe that I can do more to serve our state.”

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Hanabusa began serving as US Representative for Hawaiʻi’s 1st Congressional District in January 2011.

In December 2012, she was identified as one of three finalists considered by the Hawaii Democratic Party’s state central committee to fill the vacancy created by the passing of US Senator Daniel Inouye.

Governor Neil Abercrombie was tasked with reviewing the recommendations and ended up appointing Sen. Schatz to the vacancy.  Had Rep. Hanabusa been appointed at the time, a special election would have been required to fill her congressional seat.

In her letter dated May 2, Rep. Hanabusa said she will complete her full current term in the House of Representatives.  The race, she said, “will be about service, experience, and effectiveness. I look forward to the campaign, and to continuing to represent Hawaii’s voice and values in Washington.”

In the statement, Rep. Hanabusa said Hawaii will play a leading role as the nation continues to shift its focus to Asia and the Pacific region.

“Developing the technological innovations that will allow us to serve as a hub for international cooperation. Supporting our military at the doorstep of the defense, diplomatic and economic theater of the future. Encouraging business while standing up for working families and seniors,” she said in the announcement.

In a Facebook status update on Thursday, Sen. Schatz stated that he phoned Rep. Hanabusa to welcome her to the US Senate race for Hawaiʻi.

He continued saying, “I look forward to a great campaign while still working to put Hawaiʻi first.  I’m eager to share my vision for our state’s future, and I’m confident there will be a clear choice for voters.”

The person who is elected in 2014 will serve the final two years of Inouye’s term.  A subsequent election will be held in 2016 in which candidates will vie for a full six-year term in the US Senate.

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