Hanabusa faces off against Air Force veteran in race for Congress

Hanabusa faces off against Air Force veteran in race for Congress

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Colleen Hanabusa is facing off against a relative unknown in her bid to regain her seat in Congress.

Shirlene D. Ostrov, of Mililani, served 23 years with the U.S. Air Force, is a mother of twin daughters and owns a logistics consulting firm.

And she's the Republican who will be on the Nov. 8 ballot for the 1st Congressional District in November.

She believes she has the skill set to take on complex challenges in Congress, despite her being a first-time candidate for public office up against an well-known front-runner.

"I believe every state needs a vibrant two-party system, so having the Republicans represented in the national conversation of Washington D.C. is an important voice for Hawaii to have," Ostrov said.

Ostrov believes her inexperience in politics will work to her advantage.

"I don't have the same commitments other politicians might have," she said. "I'm coming in to represent the people of Hawaii be part of the majority party. Not being a career politician allows me to come in with a clear vision."

Hanabusa is running to reclaim her seat in the U.S. House with a resume that also includes state Senate president and chair of the board that oversees Oahu's rail project.

"I believe my records are pretty clear even with a Republican-controlled house," Hanabusa said. "I was able to reach across the aisle and make those relationships that were very important to Hawaii."

The Congressional seat was vacated after the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai announced the cancer he had been battling had spread. Takai died in July at 49.

Hawaii News Now political analyst Colin Moore commends Ostrov for running, but gives her little to no chance of winning.

"I'm glad she's running to present that other voice, but at the end of the day this a very Democratic district and it's almost certain Democrats will win," Moore said.

The toughest question for Ostrov was whether she supports Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Ostrov says he has her vote. She does not support his values, she said, but wants the Republican party in the White House.

Also on the ballot for 1st Congressional District are Libertarian Alan Yim and non-partisan candidate Calvin Griffin.

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