By Derrick DePledge
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has endorsed U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz's election campaign next year.
Schatz has been fundraising and securing endorsements while other Democrats, particularly U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, consider challenging him in the primary.
Schatz has previously been endorsed by the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council, the League of Conservation Voters, and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.
Schatz was appointed in December to replace the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. He is up for election next year to fill out the remainder of Inouye's six-year term, which runs through 2016.
From Brian Ahakuelo, the IBEW Local 1260's business manager and financial secretary:
I fully supported Governor Abercrombie’s decision to appoint Senator Schatz to the U.S. Senate. Sen. Schatz has the passion and energy to be a very strong voice for the State of Hawaii for many years to come.
We will always be thankful for the vision and leadership of Sen. Inouye. I also believe that Senator Schatz will be a strong advocate for our State as we move forward. Senator Schatz will uphold the values and compassion that Senator Inouye was known for, but he will also establish his own track record – to fight for our State, to strengthen our Middle Class, to work for a better Hawaii, a better Country and stronger Labor Unions across Hawaii and this nation.