POSTED: 12:59 p.m. HST, Dec 23, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 01:16 a.m. HST, Dec 24, 2013
The Hawaii State Teachers Assocation announced Monday it is backing Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa in her challenge against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz while supporting state Rep. K. Mark Takai's bid to replace Hanabusa.
The HSTA executive board voted unanimously to recommend Hanabusa's candidacy to its 3,500-members, said HSTA president Wil Okabe. He cited her track record on education and teacher issues through her political career.
Hanabusa is seeking to fill the remaining two years of the term left by the death of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. Gov. Neil Abercrombie chose Schatz, his lieutenant governor, to replace Inouye.
Hanabusa and Schatz are both Democrats.
In supporting Takai, Okabe he has been a strong advocate for education and teachers during his 19 years in the House.
Takai is one of half a dozen high-profile candidates for the First Congressional District seat being left without an incumbent by Hanabusa's senate bid.
Others vying for the seat are Honolulu Council members Ikaika Anderson and Stanley Chang, state Sen. Will Espero, state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and activist Kathryn Xian.
All are Democrats.