A Barrier-Busting Leader
Before he died, war hero and beloved Sen. Daniel Inouye conveyed his wish that civil rights champion Rep. Colleen Hanabusa be appointed as his successor. However, Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz was instead tapped to fill the seat. Undeterred, Colleen – the first woman to lead either house in the Aloha State’s legislature and the first Asian-American woman in the country to preside over a state legislative chamber – is challenging Schatz, allowing the people of Hawai'i a vote on who they’d like to elect in this special election to fulfill Inouye’s term.
A Champion for Education, Choice, and Civil Rights
One look at Colleen’s background and impressive record, and it’s easy to understand why she is the ideal candidate to continue Inouye's progressive legacy. A fourth-generation Japanese-American, Colleen was raised by hardworking parents – and grandparents who, with tales from the World War II camps in which they’d been interned, instilled in her an early passion for civil rights. After building a successful law practice, Colleen won election to the State Senate, where she stood up to the Republican governor on civil liberties and public health while championing education, reproductive choice, workers’ rights and sustainable living. With such an impeccable record, it’s clear that there is no one better qualified to continue the work of fighting for Hawai'i than Colleen Hanabusa.
The Chance to Help Hawai'i Continue a Long Progressive Tradition of Progressive Women
Since her election to Congress in 2010, Colleen has lent her considerable energy to creating jobs and reinvigorating the economy while protecting the social safety net. She cosponsored landmark “Make it in America” legislation to boost U.S. manufacturing while vehemently opposing Paul Ryan’s plans to decimate Medicare and Social Security. In the Senate, Colleen will be a strong progressive voice on veterans’ rights, women’s health and economic opportunity. It’s time to continue Hawai'i’s history of sending such incredible pro-choice Democratic women as Sen. Mazie Hirono, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and former Rep. Patsy Mink to Congress by sending Colleen to the Senate! And while she leads in early polling, the primary will be bruising – and expensive. Colleen will need the full force of the EMILY’s List community to win this seat.