HAWAII: Freshman House Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Vies For Inouye’s Senate Seat

Just-elected Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), the first Hindu person elected to Congress, has submitted herself to replace venerable Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died last week after almost 50 years in the Senate.

“In the military, I learned that ‘leadership’ means raising your hand and volunteering for the tough, important assignments,” Gabbard said in a statement announcing her application to fill the open seat. “Senator Inouye did that as a young man, and he inspired a generation of young soldiers like me. Now it is our responsibility to step up, for the good of Hawai`i. In that spirit, I place my name into consideration for the seat he filled so ably.” Gabbard adds her name to several other applicants for the seat — Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Inouye’s choice to replace him in a letter written just before his death, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, Rep. Ed Case, State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, State Sen. Will Espero, and Esther Kiaaina, deputy director at the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.  Three nominees will be selected by the Hawaii Democratic Party and their names sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who will choose Inouye’s replacement.