Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is set to headline a fundraiser for Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), who’s facing a primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), on Thursday.
The fundraiser is the latest broadside in an increasingly contentious Democratic primary between Schatz, who was appointed senator by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercromie (D) upon the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), and Hanabusa.
The primary is less about ideology than about a personal divide. Inouye had said he wanted his protégée Hanabusa to succeed him, but Abercrombie appointed Obama campaign veteran and former Lt. Gov. Schatz instead.
“Senator Schatz is pleased to have the support of the Mayor given his leadership on common sense gun safety legislation and strong promotion of clean energy production to slow the effects of climate change,” Schatz campaign manager Clay Schroers said in a statement. “Senator Schatz’s priority is always delivering for Hawaii, and effective leadership in the Senate for Hawaii means developing relationships with leaders across the country.”
The fundraiser is one of the first public appearances for Bloomberg since he left the mayor’s office. A day earlier Bill de Blasio (D) was sworn in as the new mayor of New York.