Busy August for Hawaii politics

Published: Aug. 30, 2011 at 9:32 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 31, 2011 at 12:21 AM HST
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Mufi Hannemann
Mufi Hannemann
Dan Boylan
Dan Boylan

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "I'm a democrat. I'm running in the democratic primary," Mufi Hannemann said.

The announcement from Honolulu's former mayor makes him the latest candidate to declare for the seat in Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District.

Hawaii News Now political analyst Dan Boylan said Hannemann is the one to beat.

"He will be able to raise money. He's always done very well with the business community and is well connected there," he said.

But just hours after Hannemann's announcement, six blue collar unions including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers endorsed city councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard.

"I look forward to working with them and working hard for the people of Hawaii," Gabbard said.

Hannemann, Gabbard and Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief advocate Esther Kiaaina are all democrats.

So far no republicans have entered the race to succeed Mazie Hirono, who's leaving the House to run for Daniel Akaka's Senate seat.

Democratic ex-congressman Ed Case was the first to jump into that race. The ticket is lopsided because no republicans have jumped in to join them.

"There's a list of people. Of course they haven't publicly announced yet. But there's many people on the republican side looking to run for these seats," Hawaii Republican Party chairman Jonah Kaauwai said.

The only republican who has declared for Congress is Charles Djou. He'll face democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who opted not to run for Akaka's seat.

Their announcements came earlier this month.

As for his campaign, Hannemann said it's a unique opportunity to serve Hawaii.

"It's all about the economy. It's all about jobs and getting a better handle on our finances," he said.

His declaration for 2012 rounds out a busy August in Hawaii politics.

Even Gov. Neil Abercrombie got into the act. He held a fundraiser for his re-election bid in 2014.

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