HONOLULU (AP) — A memo from U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz's campaign is touting him as a progressive candidate who can win the Democratic primary for Hawaii's senate race "regardless of ethnicity."
The Schatz memo being circulated by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says progressive ideology is more important to voters than ethnicity as "Hawaii's electorate has moved to the left."
Schatz, who is white and moved to Hawaii as a toddler, is facing a primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a Japanese-American.
It was U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's dying wish to have Hanabusa succeed him. But Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Schatz, who was lieutenant governor.
Hanabusa campaign spokesman Peter Boylan says Hawaii voters don't cast ballots "on identification with a particular ideology" but prefer candidates who "reflect their core values."
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