Primary preview: Brian Schatz

As the election nears, KHON2 is taking a look at some of the key races, and the one for U.S. Senate looks like a tight one so far.

Sen. Brian Schatz is trying to keep the seat, but he’s facing a challenge from U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa.

The married father of two began his career in 1998 in the State House of Representatives, chaired the Democratic Party of Hawaii from 2008 to 2010, and served as Lieutenant Governor from 2010 to 2012, when Gov. Abercrombie appointed him to serve out the late Daniel Inouye’s term in congress.

When asked about his proudest achievement so far as a senator, Schatz said “there were 220 individuals who were going to be required to take minimum wage after working decades at United Airlines. We intervened and were able to save those jobs.”

Big differences between Schatz and Hanabusa on policy have been difficult to find. Polls are mixed and the race appears close. Schatz and his staff will use every last minute until election day to win the vote.

“They’re making phone calls every day, knocking on doors, making sure that as many people as possible get out there and vote.”

Schatz says his priorities and Hawaii’s values are in sync.

“We have to take care of each other,” he said. “That means making sure our elderly are taken care of with social security, and making sure our young people have an opportunity to pursue higher education, job opportunities.”

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