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Hanabusa's dance card full


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POSTED: Saturday, December 12, 2009

Whether the rigors of running a congressional campaign and the state Senate become too much remains to be seen, but for now, Sen. Colleen Hanabusa plans to undertake both.

In announcing plans to run in a special election that would be needed to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, the senate president said she has considered the possibility of stepping down but will stay on for now.

“;It will depend how and when the election is held,”; Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli-Makua) said yesterday at a news conference. “;Right now I believe that as Senate president we have made great strides. I would like to see my agenda through on that.”;

Abercrombie plans to announce tomorrow when he will step down to concentrate on his 2010 gubernatorial bid.

City Councilman Charles Djou, the only declared Republican running for the seat, said Hanabusa's dual role could prove challenging.

“;She's the Senate president, and this Legislature's going to go and start a very difficult session, so we'll see,”; Djou said.

Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser said yesterday he had not yet had a chance to talk to Hanabusa, and he was unsure of her plans.

He noted that other senators, including himself, will be seeking other offices and running campaigns next year.

“;There's several people running for office, but I think we're all committed to first and foremost serving our roles as state senators,”; said Hooser (D, Kauai-Niihau), who is running for lieutenant governor. “;The reality of it is, if you don't do that, it will reflect poorly on you and your community.

“;Each of us will have to make that decision, and the Senate president will have to make that decision—how much time to spend on each activity.”;

Hanabusa said she will keep in mind the best interest of the Senate first.

Star-Bulletin reporter Richard Borreca contributed to this report.