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Hawaii Politicians Eye Congress | Farm Team

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Because Hanabusa is running for Senate, the power jockeying in Hawaii this election cycle will take place in the 1st District race.

On the Republican side, GOP operatives touted “quality, not quantity” in their bench of rising stars.

Most often, consultants mentioned former Rep. Charles K. Djou as a potential candidate for 2014.

Djou, a lawyer and major in the Army Reserve, won a 2010 special election to succeed Abercrombie in the House. But he lost to Hanabusa in the general election later that year. Djou also lost a 2012 rematch to Hanabusa.

Republican operatives say many of the state’s rising stars will likely hold off on a run for Congress until future cycles.

They include:

• First-term state Rep. Lauren Cheape, a beauty pageant contestant who competed in the Miss America 2012 pageant as Miss Hawaii.

• State Rep. Richard Fale, a veteran who Republican insiders say could potentially challenge Gabbard in the 2nd District down the line.

• Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, the state House’s new minority leader who has been praised for brokering bipartisan deals on the state level.

• First-term state Rep. Beth Fukumoto Chang, who pulled off an upset victory in 2012 to become the first Republican to unseat a Democratic incumbent in many years.

• Honolulu City Councilmember Kymberly Pine. Pine, who is of Filipino descent, would appeal to the large Filipino population in the state, operatives say.

Farm Team is a state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress. The column runs on Thursdays.

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