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Veteran Hawai‘i Lawmaker Mazie Hirono is Officially Running for U.S. Senate

Hirono, who has been vocal about her opposition to President Donald Trump, is seeking re-election for a second term.


Video: David Croxford


Veteran Hawai‘i lawmaker Mazie Hirono made it official, filing her papers to run for re-election to a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate.


Hirono has been vocal this year about her opposition to many of the policies of President Donald Trump. And candid about receiving treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer since May.


“I know who I fight for and why. There are people in our communities and our country who are being marginalized and discriminated every single day,” Hirono said, citing family health care, kupuna struggles, workers, immigrants the LGBQT community.


“This administration makes these fights so much harder which is why we need to all fight together,” Hirono said at the State Office of Elections.


About 25 supporters cheered her official declaration of candidacy, including her husband, Leighton Oshima, and Randy Perreira, president of the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO.


 “From her time as a state legislator through today, Mazie has been a champion of middle-class Americans, middle-class working people and for all of us here in Hawaii we look forward to continue working with her and to have her serving on our behalf for the next six years,” Perreira said.


Kanani Kai, of Iwilei, spoke up for Hirono’s work for senior citizens and people’s rights. “I’ll be 73 this year and I depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I have gotten to know Sen. Hirono a little better this year because we visit her offices every Tuesday for resist Trump Tuesday. I have found her to be a strong voice and her actions go along with her words,” Kai said.


Hirono says she and her doctors are optimistic that long-term immunotherapy cancer treatment will be effective. “I’ve been very open about my health challenge because I think it’s really important for my constituents to know that in spite of the fact that I’m still in treatment that nothing about this treatment prevents me from doing my job.”


She says the Trump administration provides ample opportunities to speak out. “Every single day there’s some new thing that makes my head explode,” she said.


Other potential candidates who have expressed interest in running for the U.S. Senate seat are: Republicans Crystal Carpenter, Robert Helsham Sr. and Thomas White; nonpartisans Matthew Maertens and Arturo Reyes; and Democrat Miles Shiratori.




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Honolulu Magazine April 2018
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