Crowded field vies for Case's D.C. seat
One-fifth of the 25-member state Senate is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat to be vacated by U.S. Rep. Ed Case.
Yesterday, Sen. Clayton Hee (D, Kahuku-Kaneohe) joined the race that already includes Sens. Ron Menor (D, Mililani), Colleen Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua), Gary Hooser (D, Kauai) and Bob Hogue (R, Kaneohe-Kailua).
Other local politicians running include state Rep. Brian Schatz (D, Tantalus-Makiki) and former Republican Rep. Quentin Kawananakoa.
The Democrats will face each other in the Sept. 23 primary election to then face the winner of the GOP primary to fill the seat for the rural Oahu-neighbor island district.
Hee said yesterday that one of the major points of his campaign will be to support U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is running for election against Case.
"I look forward to speaking on his behalf whenever I have the opportunity during the coming campaign," Hee said.
During his announcement at Iolani Palace, Hee emphasized Hawaiian issues.
Hee said he would work in Congress to change the requirements for Hawaiians to be eligible for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property to 25 percent from 50 percent. Those classified as 50 percent Hawaiian would have preference over those one-quarter Hawaiian, under Hee's suggestion.
Hee, 53, is a former state House member and state senator who served 10 years with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, including seven years as chairman, before being elected to his Windward Oahu Senate district.
Hee has two years left on his term and is not required to resign to run.
Hee was supported during yesterday's announcement by former Senate President Richard Wong and former Rep. David Hagino.
Hee said his campaign supporters include former Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro; Don Cataluna, OHA trustee; former state Sen. Joe Tanaka; Dante Carpenter, former state senator, ex-Big Island mayor and current OHA trustee; and former state Rep. Stanley Roehrig.