“I think that it’s premature to consider anything right now,” she said. “I think what we should all do is really applaud Senator Akaka the great career he’s had.”
National Democrats are looking to the first-term lawmaker from Hawaii as a top-tier candidate to run for the seat held by Akaka since 1990. But Hanabusa, who previously served in Hawaii’s state Senate and eventually served as Senate president, would not give any hints of her ambitions.
“I think that everyone would probably think about any kind of decision or race like that, but my thoughts are really with the Senator at this time,” Hanabusa told Roll Call when asked whether she is considering a statewide run.
Akaka announced Wednesday that he will not seek another term in 2012.
Other potential Democratic candidates include Rep. Mazie Hirono, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, former Rep. Ed Case and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Former two-term Gov. Linda Lingle is widely considered to be the Republicans’ top recruit.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.