comscore District 01 - Colleen Wakako Hanabusa (D)

District 01 – Colleen Wakako Hanabusa (D)

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Full Name: Colleen Wakako Hanabusa

Name on Ballot: Colleen Wakako Hanabusa

Age: 65

Political Party: Democrat

Running For: U.S. House

District (House): 1

Email Address:

Current Job: Attorney

Place of birth: Waianae

Campaign website:

Job history past 10 years:



State senator

Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?

November 1998: Hawaii State Senate District 21; Won.

November 2002: Hawaii State Senate District 21; Won.

January 2003: U.S. House of Representatives (HI Dist. 2); Lost.

November 2004: Hawaii State Senate District 21; Won.

September 2006: U.S. House of Representatives (HI Dist. 2); Lost.

November 2008: Hawaii State Senate District 21; Won.

May 2010: U.S. House of Representatives (HI Dist. 1 Special); Lost.

November 2010: U.S. House of Representatives (HI Dist. 1); Won.

November 2012: U.S. House of Representatives (HI Dist. 1); Won.

August, 2014: U.S. Senate; Lost.

Other civic experience or community service?

President, Hawaii State Senate, 2007-2010

Board of directors, Hawaii Gas, June 2015 – present

Member, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit board, June 2015 – Present

Chair, HART Board, April, 2016 – Present

What makes you qualified to be a U.S. representative?

Having served over 15 years in the state Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, I have gained a thorough knowledge of both the legislative system and the issues that most concern our citizens. I am proud to offer that experience in representing our state.

Do you support the use of United States combat troops in Syria to defeat ISIS, or to end the rule of President Bashar al-Assad?

No. Since 2013, I have consistently taken the position that the U.S. must remain cautious and pragmatic in our response to Syria. I remain fully convinced that war should be waged only in pursuit of clear political goals, based on confirmed intelligence, with predetermined metrics for success.

Do you support the continued use of U.S. troops in Iraq, or should those troops be withdrawn?

I have opposed U.S. involvement in Iraq since 2002, and I oppose it today. We have yet to answer the fundamental question of how further involvement in Iraq would serve America’s national security interests. It has already cost us too much in human lives and our nation’s resources.

Do you support the continued use of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, or should those troops be withdrawn?

We should withdraw. We have achieved our major objectives in Afghanistan and have known for years that we must transfer defense duties to the Afghan people and allow them to determine their future course. Our troops should no longer risk their lives for unclear or undefined goals.

Should the United States recognize a Native Hawaiian government through an administrative rule or an act of Congress?

Right now, administrative action provides us with an achievable path toward recognition. While we will never forget the important work and deep dedication Senator Akaka has provided to Native Hawaiians, the sentiments of some in Congress have held up Congressional action, and we must look at another way forward.

What changes should be made to the federal Affordable Care Act?

While I support the ACA because of its important protections, I continue to believe that Hawaii should have exercised its exemption under Sec. 1560. Without the exemption, Hawaii had to implement a failed exchange which cost taxpayers millions. By reexamining this, we can make the ACA work better for Hawaii.

Should the federal government legalize marijuana?

The federal government should allow individual states to determine the legality of marijuana within their borders, particularly where states, like Hawaii, have made policy decisions to legalize marijuana for medical uses.

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