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Meet Colleen Hanabusa

A fourth-generation American of Japanese Ancestry, Colleen Hanabusa was born in Honolulu and raised in Wai‘anae, where her parents, Isao and June, ran a gas station. She attended St. Andrew’s Priory, the University of Hawaii, and the William S. Richardson School of Law.

In 1998, Colleen was elected to represent the 21st District in the Hawai‘i State Senate, and in 2007, her colleagues elected Colleen to serve as President of the Hawai‘i State Senate where she became the first woman to serve as leader of either chamber of the Hawai‘i legislature. Colleen was also the first Asian-American woman to lead either chamber of a state legislature in the United States.

In 2010, she was elected to represent the First Congressional District of Hawai‘i in the U.S. House of Representatives where she served two terms. While a member of the House, she served on the House Armed Services and Natural Resources Committees. In her second term, she was named the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.

In 2015, Colleen began service as chair on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), bringing much-needed leadership to the over-budget project. In November 2016, following the untimely loss of her colleague, Congressman Mark Takai, she returned to Washington for the remainder of the 114th Congress and the 115th Congress.

Colleen’s leadership experience crosses public and private sectors, as well as state and federal office, providing a sound, well-rounded perspective critical to leading the state.

  • Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman

    “Colleen’s experience and proven record of leadership have prepared her to be the effective governor that Hawaii so desperately needs… we live in a time with unique challenges. And what has become abundantly clear, now more than ever, is that Hawaii needs a strong, dynamic leader at the helm of our state.”

  • Hawai‘i Building and Construction Trades Council (HBCTC)

    “When I think of Colleen Hanabusa, I see a true champion of the people of Hawai‘i. We put our trust in Colleen to guide our state to build a better tomorrow for our members and for the greater community.”

    — Reginald Castanares, HBCTC President, Business Manager of the Plumbers and Fitters Local 675

  • Hawai‘i Regional Council of Carpenters

    “Colleen is a proven leader committed to fighting for the future of working families in Hawai‘i. Not only are we endorsing her candidacy to be Hawai‘i’s next governor, the Hawai‘i Carpenters Union strongly supports her platform for addressing our state’s affordable housing crisis with a sense of urgency.”

    — Ronald Taketa, Executive Secretary and Treasurer

  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Locals 1186, 1260 and 1357

    “Whether public or private sector, at home in Hawai‘i or in Washington, Colleen Hanabusa has shown us she is willing to step forward and take action as the leader, championing the lives of Hawai‘i’s working men and women hoping for a better tomorrow for themselves and the next generation.”

    — Damien Kim, Business Manager-Financial Secretary of IBEW Local 1186

  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142

    “Colleen has proven she is a leader committed to working families throughout Hawaii. We strongly believe she is the clear choice to lead our state forward. The ILWU Local 142 is proud to endorse Colleen for governor.”

    — Donna Domingo, Local 142 President

  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 3, District 17 Hawai‘i

    “Colleen Hanabusa is a proven leader with the vision and ability to bring our state together in shaping a better future for Hawai‘i. She stands for our union way of life with fare wages, benefits, a safe work environment and the right to bargain.”

    — Pane Meatoga, Jr., IUOE Local Union Trustee/District Representative

  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 50

    “Colleen Hanabusa continues to be a strong leader, championing both workers’ rights and job creation. She understands the struggles of the construction industry, and she’s never been afraid to stick up for hard-working men and women of the trades.”

    — John Frigillana, Jr., District Council 50 President

  • Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 368

    “Colleen Hanabusa has a long history of strong support for our local construction industry and local trades. We are proud to throw our support behind Colleen in her campaign for governor of the state of Hawai‘i.”

    — Peter Ganaban, LIUNA Local 368 Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer

  • Patsy T. Mink Political Action Committee

    “As the first woman to serve as leader of either chamber of our State legislature — the first Asian-American woman to lead a chamber of any legislature across the United States — she sets an important example for women and girls throughout the country.”

    — Amy Monk, Director

  • Shan Tsutsui

    “I will be supporting Colleen in the Primary and urge the people of Hawai‘i to join me in putting their trust in her to fight for the future our children deserve…Colleen is a proven, action-oriented leader who has the vision and passion necessary to be our next governor, not just of Oahu but our entire state.”

  • State of Hawai‘i Organization of Police Officers

    “We feel Colleen will bring strength, trust and confidence back to the governor’s office. Colleen is a clear, tough-minded ally in enforcing the law and working cooperatively to preserve peace and a safe environment for the people of Hawai‘i, and she has proven her willingness to stand up for law enforcement in support of our mission to serve with integrity and professionalism.”

    — Malcolm F. Lutu, SHOPO President

  • Hawaii Government Employees Association

    “Colleen is a strong leader who understands the struggles of Hawaii’s working families. She will take action on critical issues including affordable housing, wage inequality and infrastructure.”

    — Randy Perreira, HGEA Executive Director

Get Involved

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about or volunteer for Hanabusa’s campaign. Or call us at 808-688-3311.