Hirono will run for Akaka's US Senate seat - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hirono will run for Akaka's US Senate seat

Mazie Hirono Mazie Hirono
Dan Boylan Dan Boylan
Jonah Kaauwai Jonah Kaauwai

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a two-minute video on U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono's campaign web site, she said she listened to supporters who urged her to run for the Senate seat that will be open when Sen. Daniel Akaka retires next year.

"Because we need a strong voice for a stronger Hawaii, I'm announcing my candidacy for United States Senate. I know your vote isn't something you give. Your vote is something I must earn," she said.

Hirono now becomes the second candidate to declare for the democratic primary, joining former congressman Ed Case in the race.

Hawaii News Now political analyst Dan Boylan said Hirono has the advantage of having run in statewide campaigns on several occasions.

"Hirono going in at this moment is in a better position, provided U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa doesn't get into the race," he said.

In a written statement, Hanabusa wished Hirono well but kept her possible bid for the seat alive.

"I am definitely considering a Senate run, but I am still evaluating all my options," she said.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has also been named as a potential Democratic candidate for Akaka's seat.

"I congratulate Mazie. As for me, I'm still considering the Senate seat. This decision does not affect my timetable but it does present me with another option to consider," he said.

Hirono's Senate bid will leave her congressional seat open.

In her video, Hirono said she'll fight for more and better jobs in tourism, construction, and transportation, and promises she will work to strengthen Hawaii's public schools and protect Medicare and Social Security.

"Together we've fought these fights in Congress. And together you and I will keep fighting for Hawaii in the U.S. Senate," she said in the video.

The leader of Hawaii's Republican Party said that's a lot of tough talk.

"We've seen that she's accomplished absolutely nothing. And to see her trying to take the step forward and thinking that she deserves a promotion to Senate with that record, I think people will think twice about putting her into office," Jonah Kaauwai said.

Boylan said other democrats and republicans could make their intentions clear in the coming weeks now that Hirono has made her candidacy official.

Hirono's announcement is on her web site at http://www.mazieforhawaii.com/.

Copyright Hawaii News Now 2011. All rights reserved.

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