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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Hooser first in race for House

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau


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LIHU'E, Kaua'i State Sen. Gary Hooser, D-7th (Kaua'i, Ni'ihau), yesterday became the first candidate to file for Rep. Ed Case's 2nd Congressional District seat.

Case has announced he will run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Daniel Akaka. Several state lawmakers have expressed interest in Case's seat, which covers Central, Leeward and Windward O'ahu, the North Shore and all of the Neighbor Islands.

Hooser, 52, of Wailua Homesteads on Kaua'i, said he is a traditional Democrat whose positions are similar to Case's on social issues, but who is generally more liberal on other issues.

"Many of the issues at the national level are the same as at the state and local level: affordable housing, the environment," he said.

Hooser said he would work for an end to the Iraq war, urging the administration, Congress and the military to bring troops home as soon as possible, and work with international partners to provide needed security forces in Iraq.

"We've achieved all the objectives in Iraq that I've seen enumerated," he said.

The candidate said he has specific concerns about the erosion of civil liberties and the loss of the "social safety net" in America, the protection of the working person and the weakening of environmental protection.

"There is a need for stronger advocacy on these kinds of issues," he said.

Hooser said he is an opponent of drilling for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, and a supporter of renewable energy.

"The president talked about coal and nuclear in the State of the Union address. I think that's the wrong direction," he said.

Hooser served four years on the Kaua'i County Council and has served four years in the state Senate. His first term was for two years due to reapportionment; the former publisher and small businessman is now in the middle of a four-year term.

Reach Jan TenBruggencate at jant@honoluluadvertiser.com.