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Sunday, April 18, 2010
Loyal Democrat? Hanabusa helped GOP against Hirono in ‘06
By Andrew Walden @ 1:04 AM :: 13891 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

by Andrew Walden

Is Congressional Candidate Colleen Hanabusa a loyal Democrat?

Friday’s Advertiser editorializes “it would be difficult to imagine a more ‘in’ Democratic Party insider than Hanabusa.” 

But it wasn’t quite that way after Senate President Hanabusa lost the 2006 Democratic Primary race for Hawaii’s Second Congressional district to Mazie Hirono.  Running a campaign in which she trumpeted her brain power, Hanabusa came up short against Hirono by an 844 vote margin.  “The smart one” was not amused. 

Two sources with first-hand knowledge describe a series of September, 2006 post-Primary talks between Hanabusa’s defeated campaign and that of Republican Primary winner, State Senator Bob Hogue.  Although Hanabusa did not personally participate, the sources say her campaign’s leaders, including her now-husband John Souza, offered the Republican candidate extensive unofficial support.  One pro-Hanabusa union came on board with Hogue after receiving a commitment that, if elected, Hogue would work to increase immigration quotas from the Philippines.

Hogue’s campaign was far behind in the polls.  He raised only $231,000 during the entire election cycle versus $1.25M raised by Hirono.  On Election Day, Hogue lost to Hirono by 38,662 votes—a 21% spread.  But in spite of the long odds, the sources say that after being spurned Hanabusa was willing to help the Republican against her own Party’s nominee.  

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