U.S. Senator Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz

Politico, one of the nation’s top political magazines, issued a report December 26, citing the race between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-HI, and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, D-HI, as one of the top 10 political races to watch. In the article entitled “Who will survive? 2014’s top primaries”, Politico wrote:

Hawaii Senate (Aug. 9)

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie picked his own lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, to succeed the late Sen. Daniel Inouye last winter instead of Inouye’s hand-picked successor, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

In the process, he set off what’s bound to be one of the most competitive Democratic primaries in the country.

Schatz, now an incumbent, has all the benefits of being in office, including a fundraising advantage and a team of seasoned D.C. operatives.

US Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-HI

But Hanabusa has the support of Inouye’s family and is tapping into his political network, which reaches across Hawaii.

The seat is seen as safe for Democrats, so whoever comes out of the August primary will almost certainly be the next senator from Hawaii.

But given the nature of this race — between the now-incumbent senator and the protegee of a pol who was a Hawaii institution — it’s definitely one to keep an eye on this spring and summer.