Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to challenge Sen. Brian Schatz in 2014 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to challenge Sen. Brian Schatz in 2014 primary

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Senator Brian Schatz's campaign is responding to U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's plans to challenge him for his seat in the 2014 Democratic primary.

On Tuesday morning, the Schatz campaign gave a statement to Hawaii News Now saying, "Senator Schatz is working diligently in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the people of Hawaii. There'll be plenty of time to focus on politics once the race actually takes shape."

Hanabusa told the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee of her plans to aim for the Senate seat yesterday.

But there are reports that the DSCC would back Schatz. 

Gov. Neil Abercrombie selected Schatz, his lieutenant governor, after the death of longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye last December even though Inouye had a letter hand-delivered to Abercrombie making a request that Hanabusa succeed him.

The election next year is to fill the final two years of Sen. Inouye's six-year term and another election will be held in 2016 for a new six-year term.

Hanabusa had been mulling a run against either Abercrombie or Schatz but decided on the Senate seat and needed soon to make an announcement, which could come as early as next week, to begin raising campaign funds. Schatz reported raising $1.1 million for re-election in the first three months of this year.

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