Candidates for 2nd Congressional District Stress Background

Candidates' respective websites

There's not a well-known Republican running in the race for 2nd Congressional District, so Hawaii voters will likely be selecting a new U.S. representative in the Democratic primary on Aug. 11.

Four of the six Democrats running — Mufi Hannemann, Tulsi Gabbard, Esther Kiaaina and Bob Marx — are the leading contenders. Hannemann and Gabbard, according to a recent Civil Beat poll, are tied at the head of the pack.

If you caught the televised debate between the four candidates July 12, you know that the 90-minute forum was dominated by social issues such as gay marriage.

To learn more about their views on the economy and jobs, the debt and deficit, island infrastructure, health care, global warming and political dysfunction in Washington, Civil Beat asked each of the four a number of detailed questions. (You can read the full surveys; the links are at the end of this article.)

Their answers reveal issues where they largely agree — like the need for compromise in Congress and, to varying degrees, cautious support for the use of unmanned drones to fight terrorism — as well as issues that are of particular interest to them and voters in the 2nd Congressional District.

Hannemann, for example, a former tourism lobbyist, emphasizes the need for increasing visitor traffic to the islands from Asia.

Gabbard, a military veteran, wants our country out of Afghanistan quickly in order to deal with financial problems back home.

Kiaaina, the only Native Hawaiian among the candidates, shows interest in Pacific Island matters like federal aid to Micronesians and the threat of global warming to low-lying islands.

And Marx, the only non-Oahu resident running in a district that includes all the neighbor islands, believes he has a better grasp of the issues that are important to constituents.

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