President Obama endorsed Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye’s (D) Senate seat on Monday.
“I have worked with Senator Schatz on the issues that matter to Hawaii. Brian’s deep commitment to the people of Hawaii and his effective leadership are why I believe it is important to return him to the Senate,” Obama said in a statement. “Senator Schatz is protecting Hawaii’s values and fighting every day on behalf of middle-class families. There is no question that Senator Schatz is the right choice to continue delivering for Hawaii.”
The endorsement will be a boost to Schatz, who has already won major endorsements on the left from the likes of Al Gore and Howard Dean among others. Schatz was appointed to finish out the end of Inouye’s Senate term by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) in 2012.
Schatz was an early supporter of Obama’s first presidential run in 2008. Hanabusa supported Hillary Clinton. Inouye’s dying wish was that Abercrombie appoint Hanabusa to his Senate seat.
The Hawaii primary is on August 9.
Obama’s plan to endorse Schatz was first reported by The Huffington Post.
This post was updated.