- Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton has secured the support of many Democratic Party leaders in Hawaii and U.S. Pacific island territories as she pursues her party’s nomination for president.

An Associated Press survey shows Clinton has the support of half of the superdelegates to next year’s Democratic National Convention from Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa. Other superdelegates said they were not ready to declare their support for any candidate and some did not respond.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said Clinton cares about issues that people care about, including college affordability, raising the minimum wage and comprehensive immigration reform.

“She has the brains, she has the stamina. She’s got what it takes to be president,” Hirono said.

Superdelegates are delegates to the Democratic National Convention who can support the candidate of their choice, regardless of what happens in the primaries and caucuses. They are members of Congress and other elected officials, party leaders and members of the Democratic National Committee. Superdelegates make up about 30 percent of the 2,382 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.

The AP surveyed all 712 Democratic Party superdelegates over the last two weeks, hearing back from more than 80 percent of them. Of those, 359 planned to support Clinton, eight planned to support Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and two planned to support former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; 210 were uncommitted.

Five of Hawaii’s nine superdelegates, including Hirono, said they supported Clinton. Three were uncommitted while one didn’t respond.

Three of five Guam superdelegates said they supported Clinton and two didn’t respond. Of American Samoa superdelegates, three were uncommitted. One supported Clinton.

Madeleine Bordallo, Guam’s delegate to the U.S. Congress, said she’s known Clinton for decades, dating to the days when they were first ladies of Guam and Arkansas at the same time.

“She’s experienced. She’s served the American people in many capacities. And will continue to serve with their best interests in minds,” she said.

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