Hawai‘i said hanahou to Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.
On Nov. 6, she was re-elected to serve in the House of Representatives by 54.59 percent against Republican candidate Charles Djou.
After the first printout, the race seemed as if it would be a close one. “It was excruciating, only because there’s nothing as bad as when you think you have things planned out and that [winning] printout doesn't come. And then you have to try and kind of look like, ‘Well, it’s okay,’ when it’s really not,” she expressed.
By the second printout, however, Hanabusa held a 55.56 percent vote lead. When asked about her lead and eventual win over Djou, Hanabusa said, “It really is a strong grassroots that I believe is really what differentiates the Democrats - because the Democrats win by grassroots. And that’s what I did in 2010 … Being in there and touching people, and knowing that it means more, for example, if you were to tell your friend that you supported me than all the ads in the world.”
Being an incumbent who previously served as president of the State Senate and spent two years in the House of Representatives, Hanabusa plans to utilize her past experiences to help guide her in the next term.
“The one thing that [being] the president of the Senate prepares you for is the fact that you recognize and you’re able to respect the people that you serve with,” she explained. “The most important lesson I had as president of the Senate is to know that every one of the members of the Senate … have one vote. So when you recognize that and you realize that that is what we are, each representative, constituency, and you have to respect that constituency. When you approach people and you talk to people, it makes a difference.”
Hanabusa will also be serving this term with newcomer Tulsi Gabbard.
“Tulsi’s somebody I’ve known for a while … I’ve always had a special relationship with her, and I now have been assigned her as a buddy, so I’m going to try to make her transition as smooth as possible. That wasn’t a system we had, so I’m going to try and let her know what the shortcuts are and what to expect.”