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Hanabusa to enter race for Congress against Case


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POSTED: Thursday, October 01, 2009

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa is expected to officially enter the race for Congress, a contest where she will face former U.S. Rep. Ed Case in the Democratic primary.

Hanabusa, 58, has been in the state Senate since 1998 and has run unsuccessfully twice before for Congress.

Case, 57, who served in the state House, beat Hanabusa and others in a crowded race in 2002, but he left his U.S. House seat to run against U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka.

The previous House races were for the 2nd Congressional District of rural Oahu and the neighbor islands. Now Case and Hanabusa are running for the 1st Congressional District seat that will be left vacant because Rep. Neil Abercrombie is running for governor in 2010.

; Hanabusa said she is running because she is a strong legislator and wants to continue her career of public service.

“;What I do best is help create legislation,”; Hanabusa said before her announcement.

Hanabusa said she expects her race will cost more than $1 million. She reports a $100,000 loan to herself as a debt left over from her 2004 campaign. She does not yet have a fundraiser scheduled.

If elected, Hanabusa said she would support a native Hawaiian recognition bill in Congress and a health care plan that protects Hawaii's existing health care system.

“;We already have one of the best health care plans and I would make sure we don't lose it,”; Hanabusa said.