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Sunday, May 22, 2011
Bloody Primary: Hirono vs Case vs Hanabusa for Senate?
By Andrew Walden @ 11:06 PM :: 8935 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

by Andrew Walden

Phoning it in from a black-tie event in Washington, DC, Rep Mazie Hirono blessedly informed Hawaii that she will not be a candidate for the 2nd Congressional District in 2012.  


Unfortunately she will be the Abercrombie wing of the Democratic Party’s candidate for US Senate.  As was Abercrombie, Hirono is a card-carrying member of the DSA-affiliated Congressional Progressive Caucus.


To be fair, Hirono does sometimes show up in Hawaii.  For instance, here is a photo of her campaigning for reelection in 2006 at a campaign rally at the home of Larry Mehau.


Hirono is not the only one phoning it in.  Ed Case, the Blue Dog odd man out, had to call reporters from Italy to get his response in.

This sets up a three way race with the one open question being who will represent the old-boy Inouye faction:  Hanabusa or Hannemann?

Hannemann, stung by his gubernatorial loss may decide to make a run for CD2 where he can build on his relationship with sister-island mayors  and get a fresh start with voters who don’t know him as well as they do on Oahu. 

This opens up the possibility that Hanabusa will face off with Hirono for a Senate rematch of their 2006 CD2 primary battle.

Here are some of the stories:

USA Today: Dems face bloody, crowded Senate primary in Hawaii

looks like Democrats in President Obama's native state of Hawaii are in for a tough U.S. Senate primary next year.

Rep. Mazie Hirono, who is in her third term in Congress, announced yesterday that she'll seek the seat being vacated by Democrat Daniel Akaka. It's the first time in 20 years that Hawaii has had a race for an open Senate seat.

The Democratic primary could be a crowded one: Former congressman Ed Case has already announced he'll run. U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann are among those considering the race. A recent Hawaii Poll showed Hirono and Case essentially tied for the Democratic nod

As news of Hirono's announcement came out last night, the National Republican Senatorial Committee reminded reporters of a comment made by Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Democrats' campaign committee, who said recently that she doesn't have to worry about "bloody primaries."

Democrats have 23 Senate seats to defend in the 2012 election, compared with 10 for Republicans. The GOP needs a net gain of four seats to win the majority.


Roll Call: DSCC not behind Hirono, Inouye ‘neutral’ (we’ve heard that before)

Hirono is likely to face a crowded Democratic primary to replace Akaka. Former Rep. Ed Case announced his Senate candidacy last month, and others taking serious looks include Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz.

Hanabusa said Thursday that Hirono contacted her ahead of the announcement.

“I appreciate that Mazie called me beforehand to tell me the news — and I wish her well,” Hanabusa said in a statement. “I am definitely considering a Senate run, but I am still evaluating all my options. I will make my decision when I feel it’s appropriate.”

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil released a statement praising Hirono as "one of the most well-respected political leaders in the state," but did not indicate whether the committee would get behind her.

"At the end of the day, we are confident that a Democrat will win this race,” Cecil said….

A spokesman for Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) said his boss will remain neutral in the Senate primary. (We’ve heard that before.)


HNN: Hanabusa “Definitely considering Senate race” -- Hannemann CD2 opening is “another option”

Hawaii News Now political analyst Dan Boylan said Hirono has the advantage of having run in statewide campaigns on several occasions.

"Hirono going in at this moment is in a better position, provided U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa doesn't get into the race," he said.

In a written statement, Hanabusa wished Hirono well but kept her possible bid for the seat alive.

"I am definitely considering a Senate run, but I am still evaluating all my options," she said.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has also been named as a potential Democratic candidate for Akaka's seat.

"I congratulate Mazie. As for me, I'm still considering the Senate seat. This decision does not affect my timetable but it does present me with another option to consider," he said.


The Hawaii Republican Party released the following statement in reaction to Representative Mazie Hirono’s announcement that she is running for the U.S. Senate.

“Rep. Hirono has spent eight years as Lieutenant Governor and five years in the U.S. House building a lackluster record and now she believes she deserves a promotion. If you ask 10 people, even her constituents, what Mazie Hirono has done as our US Congresswoman, not one can name a single accomplishment. She has never found it important or respectful enough to live in the Congressional district she represents and now makes her announcement for the Senate from Washington DC. Her lack of substantive legislative action and out of touch attitude is not the kind of quality, responsible leadership Hawaii deserves,” said Hawaii Republican Party Chair Jonah Kaauwai.



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