Reliable Hawaii Island sources say former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann will shortly announce his intent to run for United States Congress, to represent Hawaii’s second congressional district. The office is held now by Mazie Hirono, who is running for United States Senate, to take the retiring Daniel Akaka’s place.
Hannemann ran for Hawaii Governor in 2010, waging an unsuccessful primary campaign against Neil Abercrombie, who subsequently went on to become Hawaii’s Governor. Hannemann’s demise was credited in part to a brochure that compared him to Abercrombie and in so doing, implied Hannemann’s Harvard alma mater was better than hometown school the University of Hawaii, from which Abercrombie graduated. The brochure also compared wives, a move that did not sit well with Hawaii voters.
Hawaii Island supporters of Hannemann say he is ready to step up to the plate but realizes the importance of focusing on local residents in a positive way.
So far, Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard and State Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief advocate Esther Kiana’aina have announced campaigns in the Democratic primary to replace Hirono. Gary Hooser, former Kauai State Senator and now the director of the State Office of Environmental Quality Control, has also indicated he might run.