HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In what they called their first time doing so, the Hawaii State Teachers Association has endorsed a candidate in one of Hawaii’s mayoral races ― backing Colleen Hanabusa in her bid for Honolulu Hale this year.
The union, which represents Hawaii’s roughly 14,000 public school teachers, typically only endorses candidates for governor or in one of the state or congressional House and Senate races.
“As educators, we know that the concerns of our keiki and our families do not begin nor end at the doorsteps of our schools. Whether it’s teacher housing, homelessness, or the land next to our schools, city issues become education issues,” said Corey Rosenlee, president of the HSTA, said Monday.
During a teleconference on Monday, Rosenlee called Hanabusa a ‘passionate advocate’ who has a history of fighting for teachers, especially during tough times.
“During crises, we need a proven leader who can hit the ground running. That is why the Hawaii State Teachers Association is proud to announce our support for Colleen Hanabusa for mayor of the City and County of Honolulu,” Rosenlee said.
“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to receive the backing of Hawaii’s teachers,” Hanabusa said.
The HSTA’s backing of Hanabusa was one of several major endorsements of mayoral candidates in recent weeks.
Four local labor unions, including the Hawaii Teamsters, endorsed Mufi Hannemann’s run for mayor last week. Hannemann, who announced his entry into the race earlier this month, is a visitor industry executive and former two-term Honolulu mayor.
The HGEA, the state’s largest public workers union, chose Hawaii businessman Keith Amemiya as their candidate of choice in late May. And SHOPO, the union which represents Hawaii’s police officers, endorsed former Hawaii News Now general manager Rick Blangiardi for mayor in early May.