Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 21, 2014

Hanabusa Will Primary Schatz for Senate #HIsen

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, has decided to run for Senate and will likely make a public announcement in the Aloha State next week during recess, a source close to the congresswoman told CQ Roll Call.

The decision comes four months after Hanabusa was passed over for the appointment to the seat of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye and sets up what will be a spirited Democratic primary battle with appointed Sen. Brian Schatz.

Hanabusa met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last week, and on Monday the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that the DSCC would back Schatz should Hanabusa challenge him in the November 2014 special election to fill the remaining two years of Inouye’s term.

(See also in Roll Call: Schatz Fundraising Sends Message to Primary Foes)

Hanabusa had also been considering a challenge to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who picked Schatz, then Abercrombie’s lieutenant governor, to fill the vacant Senate seat.

Schatz has utilized the first few months of his Senate tenure to roll out endorsements, hire a campaign team and fundraise. He pulled in $1.1 million in the first quarter, far more than Hanabusa’s $230,000. Schatz’s $1 million campaign war chest is about four times the size of Hanabusa’s.

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