By Derrick DePledge
Irene Hirano Inouye, backing U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for U.S. Senate, reached out to Hanabusa supporters Wednesday for donations of $20.14.
Hirano Inouye said in a campaign email: "My late husband Senator Daniel Inouye mentored Colleen because early on he recognized she was a skillful legislator with a passion and commitment to represent Hawaii."
The late senator's widow said Hanabusa "always votes her Hawaii values" -- including voting against Congress' budget deal last year because it increased cuts to Medicare and eliminated Hawaii jobs -- and "knows it takes more than votes and speeches to build a future for Hawaii."
"Dan wasn't a great legislator because he had seniority. He had seniority because he was a great legislator," the email states. "Today, I'm supporting Colleen Hanabusa because she's already proven herself to be a great legislator by staying true to her core values."
Inouye before he died asked Gov. Neil Abercrombie to appoint Hanabusa to serve the remainder of his term in office. Abercrombie instead chose his lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, for the position, pitting Schatz and Hanabusa against each other in the upcoming primary election.