State Sens. Colleen Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua) and Gary Hooser (D, Kauai-Niihau) say they will run for the U.S. House.
Candidates line up for U.S. House seat
Two state senators are in; at least three others are considering a run
U.S. REP. Ed Case's announcement has touched off a flurry of interest in his 2nd Congressional District seat -- much like the race that put him there.
So far, two state senators say they are in, and a state representative, city councilman and a former mayoral candidate say they are looking at the race.
One of them is State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua), who came in third with about 7 percent of the vote in the second of the two special congressional elections that Case won more than three years ago.
"I will be running for the seat," said Hanabusa, who is currently chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee.
The 2nd Congressional District covers rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.
Neighbor island Sen. Gary Hooser (D, Kauai-Niihau) said he is committed to the race.
"I have been giving it a lot of thought these last few months thinking that Congressman Case would do what he announced. I wanted to be ready," Hooser said.
Neither Hanabusa nor Hooser would need to resign from their seats to run for Congress.
Duke Bainum, a former city councilman and state representative who lost a mostly self-funded race for mayor against Mufi Hannemann in 2004, said he is still interested in serving the public in Hawaii.
"I haven't ruled it out, but I'll be meeting with friends and supporters and advisers the next four or five days and look at the options," he said.
Two others say they are seriously contemplating a run.
Councilman Nestor Garcia, a former television reporter and former press secretary to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, said he is interested in returning to Washington -- this time as a congressman -- but will be talking to family, friends and his campaign before making a final decision.
State Rep. Brian Schatz (D, Tantalus-Makiki), who had considered running for lieutenant governor, said last night that he is also "inclined to run" for the 2nd Congressional District seat.
In 2002 a total of 38 candidates signed up to run for the first special election to finish the term of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink, who died before the end of her term. A little more than a month later in January 2003, a total of 44 candidates filed to run for the new congressional term, and Case won both winner-take-all elections.