Hanabusa, Gabbard, Schatz easily best Democratic challengers to - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hanabusa, Gabbard, Schatz easily best Democratic challengers to proceed to general election

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (Image: Hawaii News Now/File) U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
U.S. Tulsi Gabbard (Image: Hawaii News Now) U.S. Tulsi Gabbard (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Colleen Hanabusa won the Hawaii Democratic primary on Saturday night, and appears poised to re-claim her old U.S. House seat. 

Hanabusa is seeking to fill the seat left vacant by U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, who died in July. She previously held the seat for four years, but gave it up to run for Senate in 2014. At the time, she was hoping to fulfill U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's dying wish that she take his place.

Hanabusa now heads to the general election, where she will run for the two-year term that begins in January and in a special election to finish the last two months of Takai's term.

Meanwhile, incumbent U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz also easily bested their Democratic challengers to advance to the general election.

Gabbard was facing a challenge from political newcomer Shay Chan Hodges, who told Hawaii News Now that she decided to run for the seat because she doesn't believe Gabbard is the progressive candidate she claims to be.

"At the very least she's just out of touch with the needs of our communities, but I think its more dangerous than that, to be perfectly honest," Hodges said.

Gabbard, who was elected to represent Hawaii's 2nd Congressional district in 2013 in a landslide, says she brings an independent perspective to Congress.

"Rather than looking at it based purely on a blind partisan perspective, I look at each issue based on its merit," she told Hawaii News Now. "And look at each issue saying, 'How does this best serve the people of Hawaii? How will this impact them in their everyday lives?' And do my best to make the right decision based on that."

Meanwhile, Schatz is seeking his first full term in the Senate after being appointed in 2012.

Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie chose Schatz to fill the seat that became vacant with the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye. And in 2014, Schatz was elected to fill out the remainder of Inouye's unexpired term.

Schatz serves on the Appropriations, Commerce Science and Transportation and Indian Affairs committees. He also serves on the Select Committee on Ethics. He has introduced legislation on reducing the effects of climate change and promoting clean energy.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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