Bad Blood May Mean Primaries for Hawaii Democrats
Roll Call Jan 8, 2013 (Excerpts): “There is buzz that folks are going to get primaried, there’s no question about that,” a Hawaii Democratic source said. “But as of now, it’s just a rumor.”… (Quick: Which former Inouye staffer is feeding this to Roll Call?)
A source close to Hanabusa said the second-term Democrat has been encouraged to challenge Schatz in the special election next year. The source called it an attractive race for any qualified candidate but said that most will likely await Hanabusa’s decision, which could come within six months…. (For bonus points, guess which Capitol Hill Hanabusa staffer is putting this out.)
Other potential candidates might hold off on announcing a Senate bid in part because it’s unlikely anyone else could wage as strong a challenge as Hanabusa, who has won two federal races, served 12 years in the state Senate and was the first woman to lead either chamber of the state Legislature. Plus, Hanabusa’s Senate bid would in turn open one of the state’s two House seats, providing another tempting avenue and a clearer path to Capitol Hill for ambitious Hawaii Democrats….
Schatz, 40, took only a third of the primary vote in his victorious 2010 Democratic primary for lieutenant governor….
without a strong state party to clear the field for the new senator, there is no telling how many other contenders could go for it. The real question is who could give Schatz a competitive primary should Hanabusa pass.
The source close to Hanabusa said she had also been approached to challenge Abercrombie, even before being passed over for the Senate appointment. Supporters cited Abercrombie’s inability to garner favor among voters after two years as governor.
In a Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll taken just before the November elections, Abercrombie’s approval rating dipped to 41 percent among likely voters. That included the support of just 51 percent who said they usually vote Democratic.
“It’s really a matter of where she sees her political future, which honestly won’t shake out for another six months or so,” the Hawaii Democratic source said….
Abercrombie clearly saw the potential for blowback that both he and Schatz could face by going against Inouye’s wishes when he announced the appointment the day after Christmas…. “It’s an opportunity to shape the future for the state of Hawaii,” Abercrombie said.
read … Bad Blood