HONOLULU — The widow of longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye in Hawaii is endorsing U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as she challenges the man appointed to fill Inouye's shoes after he died.
Irene Hirano Inouye said in a statement she looks forward to supporting Hanabusa on the campaign trail as she challenges U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in a Democratic primary.
The presence of Inouye's wife in the race assures the late senator — who had a dominant influence on state politics while alive — a key role in guiding Hawaii voters in the first election since his death in December.
Inouye pushed for Hanabusa to replace him, but Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Schatz instead.
Hirano Inouye says supporting Hanabusa honors one of her husband's last requests.
Schatz says he respects her decision.