Congressional candidates file to run for Hanabusa's vacant seat in Hawaii

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August 13, 2013


By Jennifer Springer

HONOLULU, Hawaii: Four Democratic candidates have already announced plans to run for the vacant 1st District seat in 2014.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] The seat is being vacated by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa who is challenging Sen. Brian Schatz for his seat to fill out the remaining two years in the term of former Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died in December 2012.[4]

State representative Mark Takai, state senator Will Espero, Honolulu City Councilmember Ikaika Anderson and councilman Stanley Chang have all announced plans to run in 2014.[1]

Mark Takai, a state representative for nearly two decades, has said his top issues, should he be elected, would be breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington D.C., expanding clean energy use, strengthening Hawaii's education system, finding ways to make Hawaii’s economy stronger and making Hawaii more affordable.[6] Takai, who was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard, said another area of focus would be to build a stronger military presence in Hawaii.[6]

Anderson, the latest candidate to officially enter the race, said prior to his formal announcement in early August 2013, “I believe that with the number of candidates in the field, there will be great benefit to Hawaii’s voters in Congressional District 1 and that they will be provided with a number of choices which makes for a healthy democracy. I’m a strong believer that we need to shore up our middle class and as a member of the middle class myself, Congress needs to strengthen the middle class and ensure that assistance is given to those trying to get to the middle class so that they can enjoy the American Dream."[3][4]

Takai said on August 7, 2013 that he thinks 2014 presents an opportunity for new legislators who are willing to break congressional gridlock together.[7]

So far, no Republicans have entered the race.[6]

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