Mazie Hirono

Last updated

Hirono originally wanted to run for mayor of Honolulu in a potential 2002 special election created by the vacancy of incumbent Mayor Jeremy Harris, who was planning to resign in order to run for governor of Hawaii. But due to internal controversies, Harris dropped out of the gubernatorial election and remained mayor for another two years. Hirono switched races.

Hirono maneuvered to gain the support of potential Harris voters in her challenge against former State House Majority Leader Ed Case. Throughout the primary campaign, Hirono and Case polled almost equally. Hirono defeated Case in the September 21 Democratic primary, 41%–40%, a difference of 2,613 votes. [22] [23] [24]

A few weeks later, Republican nominee and Mayor of Maui Linda Lingle defeated Hirono 52–47%, becoming Hawaii's first female governor. [25] [26]

U.S. House of Representatives (2007–2013)

Congresswoman Hirono during the 110th Congress Mazie Hirono, official 110th Congress photo.jpg
Congresswoman Hirono during the 110th Congress

Elections

2006

On September 23, Hirono ran for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district being vacated by incumbent Ed Case. The Democratic primary was very competitive. There were ten candidates, seven of whom served in the Hawaii Legislature. Hirono's advantage was that she was the only candidate who had held statewide office and as a result had the most name recognition. She also raised the most money, mostly because of the endorsement of EMILY's List, [27] and lent her own campaign $100,000. She won with a plurality of 22% of the vote. State Senator Colleen Hanabusa finished second with 21%, 845 votes short of Hirono. [28] [29]

In the general election Hirono defeated Republican State Senator Bob Hogue, 61%–39%. [30]

2008

Hirono won reelection to a second term with 76% of the vote. [31]

2010

Hirono won reelection to a third term with 72% of the vote. [32]

Tenure

In 2008, Hirono was named the national preschool advocacy organization Pre-K Now's "Pre-K Champion" for her efforts on behalf of pre-kindergarten legislation. [33]

Hirono co-sponsored and signed the Prevention First Act of 2007. The act aimed to increase public access to contraception and government funding to support the use of contraception. [34] It places an emphasis on informing and protecting women from unintended pregnancy. [34] On May 4, 2011, Hirono voted against the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would have prohibited federal health care programs from covering abortion costs, with exceptions for life-threatening cases. [34]

In July 2011, Hirono voted for the Access to Birth Control Act, which mandates that pharmacies provide birth control to customers without undue delay. [34] The ABP Act also ensures that customers seeking birth control can obtain it without being submitted to unwanted harassment or breaches in patient confidentiality. [34] EMILY's List, a Democratic pro-choice action committee, pledged support to Hirono for her history of supporting contraceptive and abortion policies during her term. [34] Its endorsement helped Hirono in her 2012 senatorial race, contributing $129,714 to her campaign. [35] [36]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

U.S. Senate (2013–present)

Elections

2012

On May 19, 2011, Hirono announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat left open by Daniel Akaka, who was retiring at the end of his term in 2012. [38] She won the Democratic primary election on August 11, 2012. [39] Hirono was endorsed as one of Democracy for America's Dean Dozen. The Republican nominee was former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. Hirono won the general election on November 6, 2012, with 63% of the vote. [40] She is the first female senator from Hawaii, as well as the first Asian-born immigrant to be elected to the U.S. Senate. [41] She was a part of the first completely non-Christian Congressional delegation from the state, which continued until the election of Mark Takai (an Episcopalian) in 2014 as Representative of Hawaii's 1st congressional district. [42]

In the 2012 campaign Hirono raised $5.2 million, with approximately 52% of that from large corporations. Lingle raised $5.5 million, with 74% from large corporations. Hirono spent $5 million and Lingle $4.8 million. [43]

2018

On November 6, 2018, Hirono was reelected with 71.2% of the vote, defeating Republican Ron Curtis. [44]

Tenure

On December 12, 2012, the Senate Democratic Steering Committee announced that Hirono would serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, giving her influence on matters ranging from approving nominations of federal judges to setting criminal-justice policy.

During the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings in September 2018, Hirono became an outspoken defender of Christine Blasey Ford after Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, telling men to "shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change." [45] [46] [47]

In the wake of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, Hirono called for the resignation of fellow senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for their opposition to certifying the 2020 presidential election Electoral College count. [48] She also called for the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution to be invoked to remove Donald Trump from office. [49]

In April 2021, Hirono sponsored and the Senate passed a bill attempting to decrease hate crimes against Asian Americans due to xenophobia associated with COVID-19. The vote was 94–1, with Senator Hawley (R-MO) the only one who voted against the bill. [50]

In July 2022, Hirono joined in introducing the Youth Voting Rights Act, comprehensive legislation to enforce the Twenty-Sixth Amendment and expand youth access to voting. This legislation, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, was also introduced in the House by Representative Nikema Williams. [51]

Committee assignments (117th Congress)

Hirono speaking at the "No Muslim Ban Ever" rally outside the Supreme Court, April 2018 NoMuslimBanEver 4250097.jpg
Hirono speaking at the "No Muslim Ban Ever" rally outside the Supreme Court, April 2018

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Hirono at a Stop the Bans rally in 2019 U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono at the 2019 Stop the Bans Rally.jpg
Hirono at a Stop the Bans rally in 2019

According to On the Issues, Hirono's voting history places her in the "left/liberal" camp. [54] The American Conservative Union gave her a 2% lifetime conservative rating in 2020. [55]

Abortion

Hirono has a 100% rating from Naral Pro-Choice America. [54] She is also endorsed by EMILY's list for pro-choice women. [56] At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Hirono told the panel: "If you don't support abortion, don't get one, but leave everyone else to the painful decisions they have to make along with their physicians". [57]

Hirono called the June 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade "a horrific day in America". [58] She also said, "This will go down as one of the worst decisions in the history of the Court." [59]

Gun control

In 2016, she participated in the Chris Murphy gun control filibuster. Hirono expressed disappointment when the Democrat-proposed Feinstein Amendment (banning the sale of firearms to individuals on the terrorist watchlist) and the Republican-backed background check expansion and alert system (regarding guns being sold to terrorist watchlist suspects) both failed to pass the Senate. [60]

Health care

On July 28, 2017, two months after undergoing surgery for stage-four kidney cancer, Hirono spoke on the Senate floor and voted against the so-called "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). [61] MSNBC reporter Kyle Griffin filmed Hirono's speech and posted it on Twitter. [62]

In January 2019, during the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown, Hirono was one of 34 senators to sign a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb recognizing the efforts of the FDA to address the effect of the government shutdown on the public health and employees while expressing alarm "that the continued shutdown will result in increasingly harmful effects on the agency's employees and the safety and security of the nation's food and medical products." [63] Gottlieb said additional staff might be called in as needed. [64]

Hirono is a supporter of Medicare for All. [65]

Housing

In April 2019, Hirono was one of 41 senators to sign a bipartisan letter to the housing subcommittee praising the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 4 Capacity Building program as authorizing "HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country" and expressing disappointment that Trump's budget "has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development." The senators wrote of their hope that the subcommittee would support continued funding for Section 4 in Fiscal Year 2020. [66]

Telecommunications

In April 2019, Hirono was one of seven senators to sponsor the Digital Equity Act of 2019, legislation establishing a $120 million grant program that would fund the creation and implementation of "comprehensive digital equity plans" in every state and a $120 million grant program to support projects developed by individuals and groups. The bill also gave the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) the role of evaluating and providing guidance for digital equity projects. [67]

Personal life

In May 2017, Hirono announced that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer, which had spread to her seventh rib. [68] The cancer was discovered in a chest X-ray in April before minor eye surgery. [69] Hirono's right kidney was removed on May 17, 2017, with a Cyberknife procedure to treat the rib lesion. [70] [68] She returned to the Senate on May 22, 2017, and was reelected to a second term in 2018. [71]

As of 2018, according to OpenSecrets.org, Hirono's net worth was more than $4.3 million. [72]

In 2021, Viking Press published Hirono's autobiography, Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter's Story. [73] Marie Claire listed the book among its "25 Great Memoirs to Pre-Order Now". [74]

Also in 2021, it was announced that Hirono would receive Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for her "significant contributions in strengthening bilateral relations and promoting legislative exchanges between Japan and the United States". [75]

Electoral history

Mazie Hirono
広野 慶子
Mazie Hirono, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Official portrait, 2013
United States Senator
from Hawaii
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Servingwith Brian Schatz
Hawaii gubernatorial election, 2002 [76]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Linda Lingle 197,009 51.56% +2.74%
Democratic Mazie Hirono179,64747.01%-3.09%
Natural Law Bu Laʻia Hill 2,5610.67%N/A
Libertarian Tracy Ryan1,3640.36%-0.72%
Independent Jim Brewer1,1470.30%N/A
Independent Daniel Cunningham3820.10%N/A
Total votes382,110 100.00% N/A
Republican gain from Democratic
Hawaii's 2nd congressional district election, 2006
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Mazie Hirono 106,906 61.04%
Republican Bob Hogue 68,24438.96%
Total votes175,150 100.00%
Democratic hold
Hawaii's 2nd congressional district election, 2008
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Mazie Hirono (inc.) 165,748 76.06%
Republican Roger B. Evans44,42520.39%
Independent Shaun Stenshol4,0421.85%
Libertarian Jeff Mallan3,6991.70%
Total votes217,914 100.00%
Democratic hold
Hawaii's 2nd congressional district election, 2010 [77]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Mazie Hirono (incumbent) 132,290 72.19%
Republican John W. Willoughby46,40425.32%
Libertarian Pat Brock3,2541.78%
Independent Andrew Von Sonn1,3100.71%
Total votes183,258 100.00%
Democratic hold
Democratic primary results [78]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Mazie Hirono 134,745 57%
Democratic Ed Case 95,55340%
Blank Votes3,3311%
Democratic Arturo Reyes1,7201%
Democratic Michael Gillespie1,1041%
Democratic Antonio Gimbernat5170.2%
Over Votes1100%
Total votes237,080 100%
United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2012 [79]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic Mazie Hirono 269,489 62.60% +1.25%
Republican Linda Lingle160,99437.40%+0.62%
Total votes430,483 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold
Democratic primary results, Hawaii 2018 [80]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Mazie Hirono (incumbent) 201,679 100%
Total votes201,679 100%
United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2018 [81]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic Mazie Hirono (incumbent) 276,316 71.15% +8.55%
Republican Ron Curtis112,03528.85%-8.55%
Total votes388,351 100% N/A
Democratic hold

See also

Related Research Articles

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Further reading

Hawaii House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clifford Uwaine
David Hagino
Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives
from the 12th district

1981–1983
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mitsuo Shito
Daniel J. Kihano
Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives
from the 20th district

1983–1985
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Clarice Hashimoto
Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives
from the 32nd district

1985–1993
Succeeded by
Len Pepper
Preceded by Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives
from the 22nd district

1993–1994
Succeeded by
Terry Yoshinaga
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
1994–2002
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Hawaii
2002
Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Hawaii
(Class 1)

2012, 2018
Most recent
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 2nd congressional district

2007–2013
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Hawaii
2013–present
Served alongside: Brian Schatz
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas United States Senator from New Mexico Order of precedence of the United States
as United States Senator from Hawaii

since January 3, 2013
Succeeded byas United States Senator from Massachusetts
Preceded by United States senators by seniority
55th
Succeeded by