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HGEA endorses Hannemann and Kenoi

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The Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state’s largest public-sector union, has endorsed Mufi Hannemann in the race for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, representing rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.

The union also is backing Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi in his re-election bid.

HGEA announced its endorsements Tuesday.

“Mufi Hannemann has pledged his commitment to represent Hawaii’s working families,” Jon Gasper, HGEA’s State Political Action Committee chairman, said in a news release. “We believe Mr. Hannemann will be a strong fighter and advocate for us in Washington, D.C., where the political atmosphere is strained and divisive.”

Hannemann, a former Honolulu mayor, is running against Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard, former Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chief Advocate Esther Kiaaina, Hilo attorney Bob Marx and Honolulu attorney Rafael del Castillo in the Democratic primary. No Republican has announced an intent to run for the seat.

Kenoi is running against County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and environmental advocate Anne Marsh.

“Billy Kenoi has also been supportive of working families,” Gasper said. “His collaborative leadership as current mayor has made a positive difference for Hawaii County, addressing critical needs and ensuring concerns are heard and addressed.”

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