To the surprise of almost no one, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa officially announced her decision to run for the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
She’ll be going up against incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz, named the position after the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye.
“Why me? Because of the fact that I believe I have the necessary skill sets that we need to be successful in the Congress of the United States and now? Because this is the opportunity for the people of Hawaii, the voters of Hawaii to make that choice,” Hanabusa said.
The choice she refers to is between her and Sen. Brian Schatz named by the governor to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Schatz’s campaign spokesman said, “Senator Schatz is deeply invested in our state’s future. In his first few months in the Senate, he has…fought for initiatives that will positively impact Hawaii and the people of our state.”
KHON2 asked Hanabusa if she felt snubbed by the governor.
“No, I don’t feel like I was snubbed. I feel that I’m a lawyer, I know the constitution and the choice is the governor’s,” Hanabusa said.
Inouye, in his last days, wrote a letter to the governor urging him to name Hanabusa as his successor.
As for the Senate race, she doesn’t believe it’s too early to start campaigning and fundraising.
“This is, for all intents and purposes, going to be a primary election race. I haven’t seen anyone from the Republican party step up, and if that’s the case, I think it will be around $3 million,” Hanabusa said.
Her goal if she is elected?
“I believe that the role Hawaii plays in the Asia-Pacific is critical. So, I want to continue on what I’ve already started and that people have already tapped me on which is to talk about the pivot to Asia-Pacific,” Hanabusa said.
The Congresswoman had given some though to running against Gov. Abercrombie, but is convinced her skills are more suited to the legislative branch.