Rep. Hanabusa Formally Launches Gubernatorial Campaign

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Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (R) was introduced by second-year William S. Richardson School of Law student and Patsy T. Mink Fellow Stacey Gray (L), who recognized the candidate’s decisive, resolute and action-oriented sense of leadership in her introduction. Courtesy photo.

Calling for leadership, a strong vision and action, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa formally launched her campaign to become Hawai‘i’s next governor on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.

She made the announcement from the lawn of the state Capitol surrounded by 300 supporters and friends, including former Govs. George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano, as well as leaders and members from the state Legislature, city council members, labor leaders and members, and representatives from the local business community.

“I am running for governor because I believe the people of Hawai‘i deserve better,” Rep. Hanabusa said. “We cannot wait as more and more of our young people, discouraged by the future they see for themselves here, leave Hawai‘i in hopes of better opportunities on the mainland.

Calling for leadership, a strong vision, and action, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announces her candidacy for governor surrounded by supporters on the state Capitol lawn. Courtesy photo.


“I believe we have great reason to be hopeful for our future,” she said. “I believe it is time—as generations before us have done—to rise again to face the challenge. That requires leadership, a strong vision and, most of all, action.”

Rep. Hanabusa was introduced by second-year William S. Richardson School of Law student Stacey Gray, who recognized the gubernatorial candidate’s decisive, resolute and action-oriented sense of leadership that is core to her character.

“My husband and I are expecting our first child this year and, as we start to raise our family in Hawai‘i, I take comfort when I think of Colleen Hanabusa as the governor,” Gray said. “I envision a Hawai‘i that cares about her keiki and her kūpuna and that will hold a bright future for our son. As a mom to be, I can think of no better person to inspire confidence in Hawai‘i’s future, to stand up for my values, and to lead the state of Hawai‘i moving forward.”


To read the announcement and for more information, go online.

Gubernatorial candidate Colleen Hanabusa joins supporters in sign waving along Beretania Street. Courtesy photo.

About Colleen Hanabusa

A fourth-generation American of Japanese Ancestry, Hanabusa was born in Honolulu and raised in Wai‘anae. Her leadership experience crosses public and private sectors, as well as state and federal office, providing a sound, well-rounded perspective critical to leading the state.


In 2016, she was elected simultaneously as a Democrat to the 114th Congress by special election to fill the vacancy created by the untimely passing of the late Rep. Mark Takai, and to the 115th Congress, where she currently serves Hawai‘i’s First Congressional District as a member of House Democratic Leadership and a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Federal Land. She previously served in Congress for two terms representing the district and as a member of the House Armed Services and Natural Resources committees. In her second term, she was named the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.

As president of the Hawai‘i State Senate, Hanabusa was the first woman to serve as leader of either chamber of the Hawai‘i Legislature and was also the first Asian-American woman to lead either chamber of any state legislature in the United States.

An attorney by profession, Hanabusa is a graduate of St. Andrew’s Priory School in Honolulu, was awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

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