Mazie Hirono

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Mazie K. Hirono
Mazie K. Hirono.jpg
U.S. Senate, Hawaii
In office
January 3, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 2
Base salary$174,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2013
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House, Hawaii, District 2
January 3, 2007-January 3, 2013
9th Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
Hawaii House of Representatives
High schoolKaimuki High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Hawaii at Mānoa (1970)
J.D.Georgetown University Law School (1978)
Date of birthNovember 3, 1947
Place of birthFukushima Prefecture, Japan
Office website
Campaign website
Mazie Keiko Hirono (b. November 3, 1947) is a Democratic U.S. Senator representing Hawaii.

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Hirono is a "far-left Democrat".[1]


Born in Fukushima, Japan on November 3, 1947, Hirono became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1959, the year Hawaii became a state. She is the first immigrant woman of Asian ancestry and the first Buddhist [2] to be sworn into Congressional office [3] Educated in Hawaii's public school system, Hirono graduated with honors from Kaimuki High School and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where she focused on public interest law.[3]


Committee assignments

U.S. House of Representatives



Cut, Cap, and Balance Act

Hirono voted against the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act in mid-July 2011. Many fiscal conservatives say the act is necessary to bring the United States' growing budget deficit under control. The bill passed the U.S. House by a vote of 234 yeas to 190 nays. The act is facing tougher challenge in the U.S. Senate and does not have the president's support.

The Republican-introduced bill proposes to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for "opening the door to deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid," as Hirono said in a written statement.

Hirono called the bill "deceptive" in the statement and that the bill also makes cuts to education, transportation and research and development.

“America needs to meet our financial obligations because defaulting on them would likely send us into a deeper recession. This is not a game. People across Hawaii want to see real compromise, not gimmicks like this that threaten Medicare and Social Security," Hirono said. “We’re facing default in two weeks and these games are burning up the clock. We need Republican leaders to end the antics and start addressing the most pressing problems facing our country: creating jobs and getting our economy moving again.”[5]

"Mainland" earmarks

For Fiscal Year 2009, the State of Hawaii was one of the top recipients of “mainland money” in the form of Congressional earmarks, receiving $210 dollars in “mainland money” per capita ($270,736,707 total). Maine, a comparable state in population, received only $55 per capita in earmarks.

Hirono sought 71 earmarks for a total of $162,135,002 in “mainland money.” In sum, Hawaii’s congressional delegation unsuccessfully attempted to flood $986,472,661 in “mainland money” to the islands for FY09.[6]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Hirono voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. She was one of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[7]



Mazie Hirono v. Linda Lingle
Poll Mazie Hirono Linda LingleDon't KnowOtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Ward Research Inc.
(October 15-22, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


Mazie Hirono v. Ed Case
Poll Mazie Hirono Ed CaseDon't KnowMargin of ErrorSample Size
The Benenson Strategy Group
(June 19-21 2012)
Civil Beat Surveys
(July 31 - August 2, 2012)
AVERAGES 49.5% 42.5% 8.5% +/-3.6
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to



See also: United States Senate elections in Hawaii, 2012

Hirono won election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Primary elections were held on August 11, 2012.[8] Hirono defeated Linda Lingle (R), James Brewer, Jr. (G), Heath Beasley (I), and Paul Manner in the general election on November 6, 2012.[9]

U.S. Senate, Hawaii General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMazie Hirono 61.7% 269,489
     Republican Linda Lingle 36.8% 160,994
     N/A Blank Votes 1.5% 6,599
Total Votes 437,082
Source: Hawaii Office of Elections "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


Republican Rep. Don Young endorses Mazie Hirono in the 2012 U.S. Senate Democratic primary.

In a rare cross-party endorsement, Hirono received the endorsement of Alaskan Republican Representative Don Young on July 24, 2012, for her primary battle.[10] The two created a 90 second video discussing bipartisanship and Young endorsed Hirono for U.S. Senate. “Though Don Young is certainly a Republican, and I am clearly a Democrat, we’ve forged a partnership that enables us to solve problems for the people of both Hawaii and Alaska,” Hirono stated in the video.[10]

Republican candidate Linda Lingle responded to the surprise endorsement, critcizing Young as "controversial" and alluding to his past ethics issues.[11] Lingle's campaign manager Bob Lee said in a statement following Hirono's release of the new ad, "It should be troubling to the people of Hawaii that Mazie Hirono's first attempt to convey any example of bipartisanship is a video advertisement with one of the House of Representatives's most controversial members, who even Mazie's fellow Democrats have criticized on a range of ethics and spending issues."[11]

Hirono also received an endorsement from Lingle's opponent in the Republican primary, John Carroll.[12] In his endorsement he states “So, my decision on whom to support is based on my perception of the candidate’s character and sincerity to help Hawaii. Of the two [Lingle and Hirono], I believe Mazie is predictable on issues and is of good and honest character, similar to Senator Daniel Akaka.”[12]

Young has since endorsed Lingle in the general election.[13]


On November 2, 2010, Hirono won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. She defeated John W. Willoughby (R), Pat Brock (L), and Andrew Vsevolod Von Sonn (I) in the general election.[14]

U.S. House of Representatives, Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMazie K. Hirono Incumbent 72.2% 132,290
     Republican John W. Willoughby 25.3% 46,404
     Libertarian Pat Brock 1.8% 3,254
     Independent Andrew Vsevolod Von Sonn 0.7% 1,310
Total Votes 183,258

Campaign donors


Mazie K. Hirono (2012)[15] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 14, 2012$1,049,102.61$1,017,503.91$(378,746.90)$1,687,859.62
Running totals

As of July 13, 2012 Hirono raised $941,000 in the second quarter and at the end of the cycle had $2 million cash-on-hand.[17]

Hirono went on to raise $1.42 million in the third quarter.[18]


Breakdown of the source of Hirono's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Hirono won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Hirono's campaign committee raised a total of $992,526 and spent $1,102,377 .[19]


Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Hirono paid her congressional staff a total of $880,146 in 2011. She ranks 22nd on the list of the lowest paid Democratic Representative Staff Salaries and she ranks 120th overall of the lowest paid Representative Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Hawaii ranks 40th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[20]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Hirono's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $1,350,034 and $3,374,999. That averages to $2,362,516.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[21]

Political Positions

Percentage voting with party

Mazie K. Hirono voted with the Democratic Party 94 of the time, which ranked 32 among the 192 House Democratic members as of November 2011.[22]


Hirono is married to Leighton Kim Oshima. She currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.[3]

External links


  1. Gov Track "Hirono" Accessed May 23, 2012
  2. Mazie Hirono is the first Buddhist U.S. senator "", November 7, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 U.S. Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono-2nd District of Hawaii "Biography" Accessed October 28, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 U.S. Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono-2nd District of Hawaii "Committees" Accessed October 28, 2011
  5. "Hawaii Delegation Weighs in on 'Epic Battle' Over Nation's Deficit," Hawaii Reporter, by Malia Zimmerman
  6. "The Hypocrisy of Putting Down ‘Mainland Money’ Flowing into Hawaii," Hawaii Reporter, October 31, 2010
  7. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  8. AP Results "Hawaii Senate Primary Election Results" Accessed August 12, 2012
  9. ABC News, "General Election Results 2012-Hawaii," November 7, 2012
  10. 10.0 10.1 Hawaii Civil Beat "Alaska GOP Rep. Young Backs Hirono" Accessed July 25, 2012
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Hill "Lingle criticizes fellow Republican backing her Dem Senate opponent" Accessed July 27, 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hawaii Reporter "Hawaii Republican John Carroll endorses U.S. Senate Democratic Nominee Mazie Hirono" Accessed August 28, 2012
  13. Roll Call, "Hawaii: Don Young Backs Linda Lingle After Supporting Mazie Hirono, Pushes Oil Exploration," October 16, 2012
  14. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  15. FEC Reports "Mazie Hirono Summary Report" Accessed July 17, 2012
  16. FEC Reports "April Quarterly" Accessed July 17, 2012
  17. Roll Call "Hawaii: Fundraising, Dueling Polls in Senate Race" Accessed July 17, 2012
  18. Mazie Hirono's campaign website, "HIRONO ANNOUNCES $1.4M RAISED, NEARLY 24,000 CONTRIBUTORS IN Q3," October 15, 2012
  19. Open Secrets "Mazie K. Hirono 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed October 28, 2011
  20. LegiStorm "Mazie K. Hirono "
  21., "Hirono, (D-Hawaii), 2010"
  22. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Ed Case
U.S. House of Representatives - Hawaii District 2
Succeeded by