Clinton endorsements include Hirono, Ariyoshi, Kouchi
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Clinton endorsements include Hirono, Ariyoshi, Kouchi

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a “Get Out the Vote” campaign event at the The Ritz Ybor in Tampa, Fla.

It’s no secret that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has solid support within the political establishment in Hawaii, but the Clinton campaign underscored that point today by releasing a list of Clinton endorsements from the Japanese-American community that includes Hawaii U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, former Gov. George Ariyoshi and state Senate President Ron Kouchi.

Also on the endorsement list are Irene Hirano Inouye, wife of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, as well as U.S. Rep. K. Mark Takai, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui.

Ariyoshi and Inouye said in a prepared statement that Clinton’s “progressive agenda” and her long record of political accomplishment made her their choice over Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“From her plan to help veterans struggling with homelessness to her policies that would help families get ahead and stay ahead, Hillary Clinton has shown time and again she is committed to breaking down the barriers that hold us back and to making a real difference in people’s lives,” said Ariyoshi in the statement. “I know that, as president, Hillary will be the leader Hawaii needs in the White House.”

The Democrats will chose between Clinton and Sanders in a statewide Hawaii Presidential Preference Poll on Saturday, March 26.

Sanders supporters have also been busy campaigning, and turnout may be critical. Attendance at the Hawaii Democrats’ presidential poll has varied from a low of 1,315 in 2000 to a high of 37,519 in 2008, when Hawaii-born Barack Obama was seeking the party nomination.

Other Clinton supporters on the endorsement list released today include state Sens. Jill Tokuda and Michelle Kidani; state House Majority Leader Scott Saiki; and Honolulu City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga.

Also endorsing Clinton is former Hawaii Government Employees Association leader Russell Okata.

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