By Diane Ako
HONOLULU (KHNL)- The race for the next President of the United States is on, with a Hawaii grass roots movement to draft Senator Barack Obama of Illinois to run for the nation's highest office in 2008.
Former State Representative Brian Schatz, speaking for the Hawaii steering committee of the Draft Obama Campaign, stated, "This is a time when new leadership, new approaches and new energy are needed in America. Although there are many strong, potential Democratic candidates, we believe that Senator Obama is the best choice for a nation and a world that believes in America as a source of hope and a force for good."
Hawaii residents who want to see Obama run are asked to add their names to a national petition through the website wwwdraftobama.org. There are approximately 40 states with organizations building support for Obama.
If elected, Senator Obama would become the first Hawaii-born president of the United States. Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961 and went to school here. His parents met at the University of Hawaii and his grandmother still lives here. The Senator plans to spend the holidays here.
"We believe that one of the strengths of Senator Obama is his tie to Hawaii, his appreciation for diversity and his capacity to inspire hope and collective action," stated Schatz.
The campaign's steering committee includes: State Senator Russell Kokubun, Senator Clarence Nishihara, Representative Scott Saiki, Representative Della Au Bellatti, George Yokoyama, Leah Craft, Carl and Sandy Wright, Brian and Linda Schatz and Chuck Freedman.