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Bloomberg jumps into hot Hawaii Democratic primary

Ex-NYC mayor to back incumbent Sen. Schatz

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Former New York City Mayor Michael I. Bloomberg, who departed office Wednesday and handed the reins of the Big Apple to Mayor Bill de Blasio, is headed to Hawaii Thursday to headline a fundraiser for Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Mr. Schatz to the seat after the death of longtime Sen. Daniel Inouye, who had wanted Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to succeed him. Ms. Hanabusa is now challenging Mr. Schatz for the Democratic nomination in the deep-blue state for the right to serve out the final two years of Mr. Inouye's term.

The race has already turned a bit nasty, with Ms. Hanabusa's campaign attacking the mayor's intervention and blasting Mr. Bloomberg for being "on the wrong side of every issue that affect people who work and sacrifice for every dollar while worrying about their future."

In response, Clay Schroers, Mr. Schatz's campaign manager, told Honolulu Civil Beat the senator is pleased to have the support of Mr. Bloomberg, "given his leadership on common-sense gun safety legislation and strong promotion of clean-energy production to slow the effects of climate change." 

"Senator Schatz’s priority is always delivering for Hawaii, and effective leadership in the Senate for Hawaii means developing relationships with leaders across the country," he said.

The youngest member of the U.S. Senate, the 41-year-old Mr. Schatz was serving as lieutenant governor when appointed to the Senate seat.

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