Isle GOP hopefuls eye seat in Congress
Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle and state Sen. Bob Hogue might make a run
Hawaii GOP candidates are showing interest in being the first Republican to go to Congress since Pat Saiki in 1990.
Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said yesterday he is seriously considering the race for the 2nd Congressional District (rural Oahu, neighbor islands).
Also Sen. Bob Hogue (R, Kaneohe-Kailua) confirmed yesterday that he is looking at the contest.
Other Republicans have said former state Rep. Quentin Kawananakoa was a possible candidate, but the Star-Bulletin was unable to contact Kawananakoa for confirmation.
Carlisle, who is in his third term as elected prosecutor, described himself as "actively considering the possibility."
Like other elected office holders in the middle of their terms, Carlisle would not have to resign his municipal office to run for federal office.
The office is expected to be open this fall because incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Case says he will run against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and not run for re-election.
Already, three Democrats have filed for the office: state Rep. Brian Schatz and state Sens. Gary Hooser and Ron Menor.
Carlisle said he has not made up his mind yet on the race and thought more comments would be premature.
"I don't want to stir up anything in case I decide not to do it," Carlisle said.
Hogue sounded more definite, saying he has been looking at "what I need to do to set up an exploratory committee and doing serious research into the race."
"I consider it all very exciting, and I will make my final decision whether or not I pursue the race in the next several weeks," said Hogue, who is up for re-election to the Senate this fall.
State GOP Chairman Sam Aiona welcomed Carlisle's interest in the race, saying "he shares the same views as us, he wants to see a bipartisan delegation in Congress."
Aiona said former City Councilman Mike Gabbard, who ran unsuccessfully against Case, is also considering the race.
The race is likely to have national interest, according to Aiona, who says that both the Republican and Democratic national organizations are expected to campaign heavily in Hawaii.
"This race will be watched by the national media, and this is a chance to send a Republican to Congress -- something that has not happened since 1990" with former U.S. Rep. Pat Saiki, Aiona said.
Former state Rep. Kawananakoa has been out of the political spotlight since he withdrew from a race against U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie in 1998.