After a lot of speculation, this finally happened:


U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will challenge U.S. Senator Brian Schatz in the 2014 Democratic primary, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie selected Schatz, his lieutenant governor, after the death of longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye last December even though Inouye had a letter hand-delivered to Abercrombie making a request that Hanabusa succeed him.

The election next year is to fill the final two years of Sen. Inouye's six-year term and another election will be held in 2016 for a new six-year term. - Hawaii News Now, 4/22/13

Schatz has the backing of environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation and several major unions.  Plus it's highly possible that the DSCC would back Schatz in the primary:


The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee would back appointed Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in a primary with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), two people with knowledge of the committee’s thinking have told Post Politics.

The committee is making its position known after Post Politics reported Friday that Hanabusa had met with it Thursday. The second-term congresswoman is considering primarying either Schatz or the man who appointed him, Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii).

The DSCC and all party committees generally back incumbents, but Schatz’s status as an appointee makes the situation somewhat different. But the committee backed appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) when he faced a primary in 2010, and Bennet happens to be the committee’s chairman now. - Washington Post, 4/22/13
Hanabusa believes she has a real shot to unseat Schatz in the primary:


Hanabusa emerged as the favorite to win an appointment to the Senate following the December death of her close political ally, longtime senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Inouye made clear he wanted her picked for his seat.

But Abercrombie surprised many by instead picking his then-lieutenant governor, Schatz, and touched off a controversy in the process.

Hanabusa has reportedly seen some favorable polling in both the governor’s race and the Senate race which, as many Democratic primaries in Hawaii do, would pit a Caucasian candidate against an Asian-American one.

While Schatz remains somewhat unknown following his appointment, Abercrombie has struggled with a poor approval rating that has made him susceptible to a primary challenge. - Washington Post, 4/19/13

Personally, I prefer Schatz over Hanabusa.  I am impressed with his work so far in the Senate and his passion to save the planet from the dangers of climate change.  Now I can support Hanabusa in the general if she were to win.  She too has an excellent environmental record.  But Schatz's passion and sincerity towards environmental issues is why I support him for the Senate.  I wish both Schatz and Hanabusa good luck in the primary and I hope they can keep it civil.  If you would like to donate to Schatz's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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