Hanabusa gasses up campaign
The Waianae attorney formally launches her bid for Congress
With the backdrop of her family's landmark service station on the Leeward Coast, state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa officially launched her campaign for Congress.
Meanwhile, former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono, who also is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, picked up the endorsement of EMILY's List, a Washington, D.C.-based political action committee for women seeking elective office.
Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua) is one of six incumbent state lawmakers -- five from the Senate -- running for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ed Case, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka this fall.
"I believe I've been a loud and effective voice for the people of the Waianae Coast," Hanabusa said following yesterday's announcement. "They know that they will have a very loud and effective voice there.
"I hope that the rest of the 2nd Congressional (District) will want to see a Waianae girl there."
The 2nd Congressional District encompasses rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.
Hanabusa said she kicked off her campaign at Hanabusa Service Station along Farrington Highway in Waianae "to clearly establish our roots there. ... This is the foundation from which I go forward."
About 30 people attended the announcement and also took part in sign-waving, she said.
Hanabusa, an attorney, is chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee and has served in the Senate since first being elected in 1998.
Other incumbent lawmakers in the race are Democratic state Sens. Clayton Hee, Gary Hooser and Ron Menor; GOP state Sen. Bob Hogue; Democratic state Rep. Brian Schatz; and Honolulu City Councilman Nestor Garcia, a Democrat.
Also running are Hirono, former state Sen. Matt Matsunaga, both Democrats, and former state Rep. Quentin Kawananakoa, a Republican.
Hirono, who served as lieutenant governor under Ben Cayetano and lost the 2002 gubernatorial race to Linda Lingle, thanked EMILY's List for its endorsement.
"I am certain that my background and previous experiences will allow me to hit the ground running as a new representative," Hirono said in a statement.
Founded in 1985, EMILY's List has about 100,000 members, including more than 400 in Hawaii, the group said.
Hirono "has the political experience and the dedication to her work to fight for what is best for her community," Ellen Malcolm, president of EMILY's List, said in a news release.