DSCC would back Schatz over Hanabusa

April 22, 2013
US Senate-Hawaii
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), left,  speaks  at the state Capitol in Honolulu on Dec. 26., 2012, after Gov. Neil Abercrombie, right, announced he was appointing Schatz to fill the seat vacated by the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. (Audrey McAvoy/Associated Press)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee would back appointed Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in a primary with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), two people with knowledge of the committee's thinking have told Post Politics.

The committee is making its position known after Post Politics reported Friday that Hanabusa had met with it Thursday. The second-term congresswoman is considering primarying either Schatz or the man who appointed him, Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii).

The news of the DSCC backing Schatz was first reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The DSCC and all party committees generally back incumbents, but Schatz's status as an appointee makes the situation somewhat different. But the committee backed appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) when he faced a primary in 2010, and Bennet happens to be the committee's chairman now.

It remains to be seen whether the committee would invest significant resources in Schatz, though, given that the results of the primary are likely to have little bearing on the general election in a deep blue state.

Hanabusa is seen as very likely to run for either Senate or governor.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake | April 22, 2013