The Hawaii State Teachers Association has endorsed Lt. Gov. Doug Chin for U.S. Congress, saying Chin is a fighter for education and “someone who is going to work to improve the lives of our children and our workers.”
At a press conference today at the union’s Red Hill headquarters, HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said Chin believes in increasing funding for education, increasing teachers’ salaries, and reducing class sizes.
“At the same time, Doug Chin has shown over and over again that he is willing to fight for the minorities and for the people,” Rosenlee said.
Chin became well known as state attorney general by filing a series of legal challenges to the policies of President Donald Trump, including Trump’s efforts to restrict immigration. Chin, the son of Chinese immigrants, has said his legal contests with the Trump administration prompted him to run for Congress.
Chin said at the press conference he represented Hawaii’s public worker unions in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees case. The court ruled in that case that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, a decision that was “misguided and incorrect,” Chin said.
HSTA represents 13,700 teachers statewide, and its endorsement is coveted by candidates. However, the late endorsement in the congressional race comes after tens of thousands of people have already voted absentee.
“I know that there’s people who’ve already voted, but I also know that at the same time there are many people who are still undecided and are still trying to figure out what is going to be the right decision,” Chin said.
The seat representing urban Honolulu is open after U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa ran for governor. Also running for that District 1 seat in the Democratic primary are state Rep. Kaniela Ing, (D, South Maui), state Rep. Beth Fukumoto (D, Mililani-Mililani Mauka-Waipio Acres), and state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D-Kalihi Valley-Moanalua-Halawa).