On Aug. 11, Hawai‘i voters will decide who will advance to the general election in both the Democratic and Republican primaries for governor. On the Republican side, polls show state Rep. Andria Tupola leading former state senator John Carroll and former Marine and Hawai‘i Department of Education administrator Ray L’Heureux.

But the race being watched most closely is the hotly contested Democratic primary race for governor between the incumbent, David Ige, and U.S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, who decided earlier this year to leave the Congress to challenge Ige. Hanabusa’s entry into the race suddenly spiced up the contest.

The following stories focus on the views of Colleen Hanabusa and David Ige.


Richard Borreca
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Ask Colleen Hanabusa what she likes and she might say making ikebana flower arrangements, or eating at old-school local diners, or even attending the summer bon dances. But review her 20-year political career and what becomes abundantly clear is that what Colleen Hana-
busa really enjoys is a good fight.

In an early Honolulu Star-Bulletin profile on her, one legislative colleague borrowed the local slang for a tough woman, calling Hanabusa “a tita with brains.”

“I’ll take it as a compliment,” Hanabusa responded. “As long as they take me seriously and they take what I’m doing seriously.

“And, as long as they realize that it is not going to be an easy battle if we are going to fight,” she added.

As a youngster, Hanabusa recalls growing up in Waianae and battling it out with the neighborhood boys.

“We would play samurai and run around with little sticks,” she recalled in a 1999 profile.

Her election battles have had the same combat intensity.

Colleen Hanabusa launched her political career running against — and beating — longtime Democratic incumbent and then Senate President
James Aki.

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