When clock strikes midnight, candidates need to declare cash

Just before the clock strikes midnight today, all candidates raising money to run for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives have to file Federal Election Commission financial reports.

The reports are considered by some politicians and supporters as indications of strength of commitment to candidates.

Former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono, who ran unsuccessfully for governor against Gov. Linda Lingle four years ago, has announced her intention of seeking the U.S. House seat being vacated by Ed Case, D-Neighbor Islands-rural O’ahu, and has around $300,000 in donations toward that run, Hirono campaign representatives said in a press release.

Case announced he would leave the U.S. House to challenge U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai’i, for his seat in this year’s election.

Hirono announced the results of her fund-raising efforts for the first quarter of 2006, which ended March 31.

The Federal Election Commission report which will be filed by her campaign shows Hirono with $297,510 in the bank.

“I was very gratified and touched by the positive response of so many people who wanted to help me win this race,” said Hirono.

“It was challenging to raise this kind of money in such a short period of time. My supporters know these are important times for the nation, and I am gratified that so many believe I am the right leader for Hawai’i.”

Hirono served 14 years in the state House of Representatives, where over 140 bills she introduced became law.

She earned a reputation as a strong consumer advocate in her work to reduce auto-insurance premiums, to ensure adequate workers’ compensation coverage for injured workers, and other consumer issues.

Hirono was Gov. Ben Cayetano’s lieutenant governor for eight years, where she focused on economic development, science and technology and support for public schools, including spearheading the PrePlus program to expand preschool education at public schools across the state.

Hirono’s legislative background and collaboration with Hawai’i’s congressional delegation on federal issues, such as visa waivers for South Korean visitors, while she was lieutenant governor, will serve her well, she feels.

“With my experience, I will be able to hit the ground running in Congress, which is what each member of our four-member delegation has to do to fight for Hawai’i’s fair share,” said Hirono.

Hirono resides on O’ahu with her husband, Leighton Oshima, and her mother, Laura Hirono.

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