(PNN) — Aug 12 — Former Kaua`i Senator Gary Hooser is considering a run for the US congressional 2nd district seat being vacated by Maize Hirono.
According to an email sent Friday to core friends and supporters, Hooser said, “I know in my heart that at some point, serving in public office is where I need to be. While the timing may be uncertain, my commitment is not. The 2nd Congressional District in the United States Congress is a path many have encouraged me to explore and one which I am seriously considering. I live in the District, have established networks on all islands and understand the unique challenges faced by rural communities.”
Hooser is currently serving in the Abercrombie administration as Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control.
He is expected to post his announcement on Facebook today and to the general public on Sunday.
Hooser, who started his political career as a councilmember on Kaua`i, rose to Senate Majority Leader before giving up his seat to unsuccessfully enter the lieutenant governor’s race last year.
As to the reasons he has decided to test the waters and re-enter elective politics, Hooser wrote:
I can no longer merely watch from the sidelines as the “politics as usual” in Washington threatens the very fabric of our lives and the security of our democracy slips further and further every day.
As the financial debacle unfolds now in Washington and through-out the world, it is clear that Social Security, Medicare, education and the environment will soon be thrown beneath the bus under the guise of “fiscal responsibility”. Yes, we need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, but that effort must be a balanced approach and include an end to the Bush tax cuts for the top 5%, a dramatic reduction in corporate entitlements, and an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hooser’s decision may rest on the support, especially financial, he receives. In the email he said:
I am committed to re-entering the political process and helping to lead our community forward. But to do so, I must have your help and your financial support. Whether it’s $25, $50, $100 or more – To begin anew down the path toward elective office, I must have your help today. Our campaign must raise $12,500 this month for existing obligations and an additional $25,000 to fund other expenses necessary to maintain an ongoing strong and credible campaign presence. Contributions can be sent to Friends of Gary Hooser, P.O. Box 4094, Honolulu HI 96812.
My final decision and future path depends in large part on your response to this letter. If you want me to run for public office and serve you again in that capacity, I need to know.
The field for the congressional seat thus far is thin with the only two announced candidates for the Democratic nomination being Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard and Esther Kiaaina, former aide to ex-Congressman Ed Case and Senator Dan Akaka, although former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s name has been mentioned as has former Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona on the Republican side.
Hirono has announced she will run for the senate seat being vacated by the retiring Akaka
That would make Hooser the only progressive in the race so far for what is characterized by some as the most progressive district in the country. Hawai`i was recently named the most Democratic state in the country in a Gallup poll.
Hooser ran for the 2nd congressional district seat- which includes rural O`ahu and the neighbor islands- once before, losing to Hirono in a special election to replace Ed Case who resigned his seat to run against Akaka in 2006.