Gabbard considers
run against Rep. Case

The city councilman is a vocal
opponent of same-sex marriage

Freshman City Councilman Mike Gabbard has his sights set on a run for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

Gabbard, who represents the Waianae-to-Ewa district, told Republican supporters at the Wednesday night Lincoln Day dinner at the Hilton Hawaiian Village that he was going to run to stress his anti-gay marriage position.

Gabbard declined to talk at length with the Star-Bulletin about his political plans after his comments at the hotel Wednesday. He said he was "discussing my plans with friends but (doesn't) intend to make anything public right now."

Reached Thursday, Gabbard repeated that he was still exploring the issue.

"Right now, we are just in an exploratory phase, and I am just communicating with friends and supporters. When we are ready to go public, I'll do so," Gabbard said.

GOP supporters at the fund-raiser, however, said Gabbard told them he was definitely going to run and that he asked to be introduced by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle as a congressional candidate.

Brennon Morioka, state GOP chairman and executive director, said that when he talked to Gabbard, the city councilman asked that he be introduced during the Wednesday political fund-raiser. The request was turned down.

Morioka said that because of federal campaign spending laws, a function put on with money raised for state elections cannot feature a candidate for federal office.

Republicans also would want to talk to Gabbard about how committed he is to a campaign, Morioka said.

In July 2000, Gabbard said he was going to run as a Republican against Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie. But at the filing deadline, Gabbard withdrew from the race.

Gabbard, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, issued a news release this week through the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values political action committee that criticized the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to permit same-sex marriages.

"Homosexual activists will again be trying to use the courts to force same-sex marriage down the throats of the people of Hawaii," Gabbard said.

Morioka said that although the GOP has no major candidates so far to oppose either Case or Abercrombie, they would only back candidates that were well organized and in support of Republican issues.

"I would hope we would have candidates that were more than single-issue candidates," Morioka said.

Because of reapportionment, Gabbard had a two-year Council term and must run for re-election this year.

Reached in Washington, D.C., Case said Gabbard has been "a single-issue candidate for his whole political career."

"Clearly, Gabbard and I disagreed on same-gender issues, but it is only one of about a thousand issues facing Congress," said Case (D-Rural Oahu, Neighbor Islands).

Star-Bulletin reporter Rod Antone contributed to this report.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --