Mazie Hirono

Party: Democrat
State: Hawaii
What you need to know: Hirono is the favorite in Hawaii, but faces a tough competition with Republican candidate Linda Lingle, the former governor of Hawaii.

Democrat - Challenger
Endorsed for U.S. Senate by Council for a Livable World

U.S. Representative Mazie Hirono is a history-making progressive running for the seat of outgoing Senator Daniel Akaka in Hawaii. If elected, Hirono would become the first Asian-American woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

In the Democratic primary, Hirono won a smashing victory against her primary opponent, the conservative blue dog Democrat Ed Case. After a long primary battle and poll numbers that varied drastically, Hirono won by an impressive 58% - 41% margin. Now, Hirono finds herself in a close general election race against former Republican Governor Linda Lingle.

Hirono was supported in her primary by Democratic leaders in Hawaii as well as in Washington, D.C., including Senator Inouye, Leader Reid and Senator Schumer.

Mazie Hirono will be a strong, progressive addition to the United States Senate who will work to stem the anti-arms control and anti-government forces that dominate the Republican Party.

When Council for a Livable World first endorsed Rep. Hirono, Linda Lingle had not decided to enter the contest. Now that she has, she will be formidable. She left as Governor after 2010 with an approval rating of 44 percent, lower than her previous ratings. She won two out of three governor’s races, is an proven fundraiser and has an appeal among independents.

But Lingle will have to run against a major tide for Hawaii native Barack Obama in the presidential race. During the 2010 national Republican wave, Hawaii remained solidly Democratic. Lingle will have to live down nominating former Gov. Sarah Palin for Vice President at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

An October 2011 Public Policy Poll showed Hirono ahead of Lingle, but not comfortably, 48%-42%.

Lingle had very little history on national security issues. But she was an avid supporter of President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq. She told the Honolulu Star Bulletin that the war would allow Iraqis “to become a Democratic nation, perhaps stop the spread of tyranny to other countries.” When there were calls for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign after the prisoner abuse scandal surfaced, she called for his retention: ‘I think that emboldens the other side and it's not in the interest of the country.’”

Mazie Hirono is a strong candidate. She gives new meaning to the American Dream. Born in Fukushima, Japan (site of the recent nuclear disaster), she emigrated to the U.S. as a child in 1955 with her mother who was trying to escape an abusive marriage.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Hawaii in 1970 with a B.A. in psychology, she worked in a variety of government jobs, and then earned a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1978. She got involved in politics because of her opposition to the Vietnam War and her desire to help Senator George McGovern (D-SD) become President.

She first entered elective politics in 1980 when she won a seat in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. In 1994, Hirono was elected and served two four-year terms as Hawaii's Lieutenant Governor. Elected to Congress in 2006, she is now serving her third term. She has scored an average of 88% on the Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC voting record. She supported legislation to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opposed increased nuclear weapons funding, rejected efforts to cut United Nations funding, and was in the perceptive minority that opposed the U.S.-India nuclear deal.

Mazie Hirono will be a strong, progressive addition to the United States Senate who will work to stem the anti-arms control and anti-government forces that dominate the Republican Party.

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Friends of Mazie Hirono
Council for a Livable World
322 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20002

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