Case still has taste for politics
The ex-congressman believes his skills are best suited for another career on Capitol Hill
Mazie Hirono is taking his former seat today, but Ed Case is not finished with politics just yet.
In an interview in Honolulu yesterday, the Democrat and former 2nd Congressional District representative said he wants to run for political office again. Case ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002 and then won a special election to fill the seat of the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink. He served two terms in Congress before running unsuccessfully against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka last year.
Case says after the loss in 2006, he considered various business possibilities but decided he still wanted to be in public office. To help pay the bills until he can run again, Case said he will be working for the law firm of Bays Deaver Lung Rose & Baba, where his former campaign manager, Crystal Rose, is a partner. Case previously had been a partner in the law firm of Carlsmith and Ball.
In a meeting with Star-Bulletin editors, Case was asked if he would be interested in state office.
"I ran for governor once, and I would be interested in the challenges," Case said.
"But from what I see as to the greatest need and my experience, it probably would be Congress," Case said.
"If there is a vacancy in the Senate, I would definitely want to go back," Case said.
The 54-year old former state legislator said he could see Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann running for re-election and then either governor or Congress.
"As far as I can tell, the mayor is on a mayor, governor, Senate track in two-year cycles," Case speculated.
"I think I can do the job better than him in the Senate because I have had more experience on the federal level, but other than that I am not in a campaign against Mufi," Case said.
Asked if he would run for mayor in 2008, Case ruled that out, saying his experience and interest "takes me into either the federal or state level and not the county level."
Case also includes in his options a possible campaign for Congress.
"I think there is a transition challenge in the U.S. House, just as there is in the U.S. Senate, and I think it is more acute in the Senate. So my focus is on the Senate side," Case said.
In his campaign against Akaka last year, Case repeatedly said Hawaii should plan for the eventual transition when either Akaka or U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, both of whom are 82, are no longer serving in the Senate.
There are no immediate plans by Case to form a public-interest group or lobbying effort to keep his name in the public while he mulls over another campaign. Case, in fact, said he saw how Hirono was able to win election to Congress after being out of public office for four years after she lost the governor's race to Gov. Linda Lingle in 2002.
"For me to rule anything either in or out is not something I really am interested in doing," Case said.