U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Thursday night tried to undercut U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s main political strength — her legislative experience — by claiming that she often talks about her record in the state Senate because she has not been very active in Congress. Hanabusa countered by suggesting that Schatz has embellished his record in the Senate.
In their final debate before the August primary, the two Democrats had several prickly exchanges over effectiveness, even though neither has yet been in a position in Washington, D.C., to have a significant influence on federal policy.
Schatz has only served in the Senate for 18 months, while Hanabusa has been in the minority in the House for the past four years, yet they are asking voters to measure often fine distinctions.
The one-hour debate, moderated by Tannya Joaquin of Hawaii News Now, was sponsored by Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Schatz and Hanabusa have had five debates — three televised statewide on network television –that have given primary voters a flavor of how they contrast on the same stage.