Brian Schatz

Party: Democrat
State: Hawaii
What you need to know: The Council has a long history in Hawaii, helping to elect Senators Hirono, Akaka and Inouye.

Democrat - Incumbent, Special Election
Endorsed for U.S. Senate by Council for a Livable World Candidate Fund

In December 2012, Sen. Brian Schatz (D) was appointed to fill the seat of the late Senator Daniel Inouye (D) by Governor Neil Abercrombie (D). Gov. Abercrombie had three candidates to choose from to serve in the Senate until the 2014 special election: Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC endorsed in her successful 2012 House run and former congressional candidate Esther Kiaaina.

Schatz is committed to representing Hawaii modeled after the careers of the Senators Akaka and Inouye– by valuing humility and hard work above all else.

Upon being chosen to fill Sen. Inouye’s seat, Brian Schatz’s responded with this humble statement: "No one can fill Sen. Dan K. Inouye's shoes. But together, all of us can walk in his footsteps."

Schatz was born in Ann Arbor, MI and moved to Hawaii with his family when he was two years old. He attended Punahou School (the same school President Obama graduated from 11 years earlier, in 1979) and went on to Pomona College in California where he received a BA in philosophy. While in college, Schatz spent time studying in Kenya and upon graduating, became a community organizer in Hawaii.

From 1998 to 2006, Schatz represented the 25th District (Makiki, McCully, and Tantalus) in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. In 2006, Schatz ran in a ten person Democratic primary race for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. Mazie Hirono (now representing Hawaii in the US Senate) ultimately won the primary by 845 votes.

That same year, Schatz formed a group with other Hawaii Democrats to back Barack Obama’s presidential run, one of the President’s earliest endorsements. He worked as a spokesman for the campaign in Hawaii in 2008. In 2010, Schatz ran for Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii and won the seven-person Democratic primary race with 34% of the vote.

Prior to becoming Abercrombie’s running mate in 2010, Schatz served as the founder and Executive Director of Youth for Environmental Service, CEO of Helping Hands Hawaii, a non-profit that delivers goods and services to needy Hawaiians. Schatz also served as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii and Director of the Makiki Community Library and Center for a Sustainable Future.

At the age of 40, Schatz is one of the youngest members of the US Senate and has been working hard to build in-state as well as national support for his reelection campaign. He has gained over a dozen early endorsements, including the League of Conservation Voters, Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, many other environmental and labor groups – and of course Council for a Livable World. The Schatz campaign has also assembled a team of veteran campaign specialists who have worked on numerous successful US Senate campaigns. In the first fundraising quarter of 2013, Schatz raised $1.1 million, 88% of which came from individuals and nearly 80% from in-state donors.

Even with the outstanding work early Sen. Schatz has done, he may need to overcome a tough primary in August 2014 in order to win in the special general election in November. The primary could be filled with Senate hopefuls from both parties. Hawaii special elections are “winner –take-all” with no runoff, and the candidate who receives a plurality of votes will be the winner.

We believe that Brian Schatz has the background and drive to prove that he will be an enduring voice for progressives in the US Senate for decades to come.

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Schatz for Senate
Council for a Livable World
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Washington, DC 20002

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