HONOLULU — Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) has formally announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii).
In a message to her supporters on May 19, the congresswoman, who is serving her third term, said: “Two months ago, we learned that Sen. Daniel Akaka will be retiring from the U.S. Senate at the end of his term next year, after more than three decades of distinguished public service. I know you join me in thanking Sen. Akaka for everything he has done for the people of Hawaii and wishing him and his wife, Millie, the very best.
“Since then, I’ve heard from so many people across our great state … encouraging me to run for his open seat.
“Thoughts and well-wishes have come from every island: I’m humbled and inspired by the support I’ve received from Hawaii families.
“So inspired that today, I am announcing my candidacy for United States Senate. We’ve fought some tough fights together in Congress. And, together, we’ll keep fighting for Hawaii in the U.S. Senate.”
Her videotaped announcement can be seen at www.mazieforhawaii.com.
Born in Fukushima and raised in Hawaii, Hirono is a former lieutenant governor and the first Asian immigrant woman to be elected to Congress. Her congressional district covers all of Hawaii except for the Honolulu area.
Former Rep. Ed Case is also running in the Democratic primary for the Senate seat. Possible candidates include Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (a candidate for governor last year), and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who represents Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.
On the Republican side, former Gov. Linda Lingle, who defeated Hirono in the 2002 gubernatorial election, is deciding whether to run.
Roll Call reports that Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) will stay neutral in the Democratic race.