Source: Hanabusa to challenge Schatz for Senate

Schatz already has $1 million in war chest; Hanabusa has less than $250,000

 UPDATED 6:38 AM HST Apr 23, 2013
HONOLULU -

It's been the question on many people's minds -- will Re. Colleen Hanabusa run against Sen. Brian Schatz for the seat left vacant with the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye?

Now, it's looking like there will be a Senate showdown in 2014.

Many political analysts thought that Hanabusa had her eye on Washington Place and a possible run at Hawaii governor.

However, a source close to the Hanabusa campaign has confirmed with KITV4 News that the congresswoman will challenge Schatz in a run for U.S. Senate.

The Senate seat is the same one that had been held by Inouye, who on his deathbed expressed his wish that Hanabusa have the seat.

Instead, Gov. Abercrombie appointed Schatz to the post leaving many to wonder what Hanabusa would do in 2014.

Just last month, Hanabusa said, "So, whatever the governor may have done, the bottom line for me is I will always have in my heart the fact that the senator felt strongly enough to write that letter and then to express how he felt."

Fundraising will play a key role in the race for Washington with Sen. Schatz, who is already raking in a million dollars in his campaign war chest.

Hanabusa has a little less than a quarter million dollars left from her re-election campaign last year.

And political analysts believe a potential race been these two loyal democrats could get messy.

Political analyst Neal Milner said, "They're both moderate to liberal people well within the Democratic Party.  And what is likely to happen is if you can't run by distinguishing yourself very easily by things like policy, you're more likely to talk about things like leadership and character.  And it's very easy for those things to turn nasty."

Milner went on to say that many of the Inouye loyalists and supporters are likely to stand behind Hanabusa which may be a factor in her decision.

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