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Obama picks candidate in Hawaii senate race

US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Wikimedia Commons

President Barack Obama on Monday endorsed U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in the November election, the senator's campaign website announced on Monday.

Schatz, 41, was appointed to the Senate in 2012 to finish the unexpired term of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Schatz has long been a force in Hawaii politics.

He is a former chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii who served as a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives. At the time of his appointment to the Senate, Schatz was lieutenant governor of Hawaii.

"I have worked with Senator Schatz on the issues that matter to Hawaii," Obama said. "Brian’s deep commitment to the people of Hawaii and his effective leadership are why I believe it is important to return him to the Senate. Senator Schatz is protecting Hawaii’s values and fighting every day on behalf of middle-class families. There is no question that Senator Schatz is the right choice to continue delivering for Hawaii.”

In August, Hawaii Democrats will pick a nominee. Also running for the seat is U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a former president of the Hawaii Senate.

"Along with her legislative work, Congresswoman Hanabusa is also an attorney with more than three decades of experience," according to her website. "She has championed the causes of labor, preserving and protecting the environment and stood up for communities she saw being bullied by private interest."

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