Who's Backing Who for Hawaii's U.S. Senate Seat?

Flickr: lrargerich

Democrat Mazie Hirono and Republican Linda Lingle spent about $5.5 million each in their 2012 contest for the U.S. Senate.

Judging from their most recent fundraising reports, Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa could come close to that, though at this point they are only competing in the Democratic primary; thus far no credible GOP candidate has entered the race.

The reports cover the period from April through June and were filed last week.

Civil Beat has pulled the names of a number of well-known contributors from selected professions and associations, most of whom gave a minimum of $1,000. They include attorney Jeff Watanabe, who delivered Sen. Daniel K. Inouye's deathbed wish to Gov. Neil Abercrombie asking that Hanabusa be given Inouye's job.

Watanabe told Civil Beat he would contribute to both Hanabusa and Schatz, and he has. Hawaiian Electric executive Constance Lau and retired Navy Admiral Thomas Fargo also gave to both candidates, as did a handful of others who hedged their bets for fear of alienating the eventual winner and next U.S. senator.

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