Hawaii's Republican former governor Linda Lingle said she would get along well with a group of former governors in the Senate should she run for and win the seat being vacated by Sen. Daniel Akaka's (D) retirement, the latest sign that she is seriously considering a race.
"Governors bring a particularly different approach in the United States Senate than those people who have come just from the legislative side," Lingle told members of the conservative Grassroot Institute of Hawaii at the Japanese Cultural Center on Friday. "They are less ideological. They are more practical. They are more agenda-driven. They are able to put forth something they'd like to achieve and then move to do it because as governor you have to. You can't hide behind a lot of other people."
Lingle would likely be the only Republican who could seriously contest the seat in the strongly Democratic state, especially in a year when President Obama, a Hawaii native, will be on the ballot. Lingle won reelection in 2006 with 63 percent of the vote, and there are almost no other well-known Republicans in the state.
Democrats will have a contested primary. Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and former Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) are already in, and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) is also thinking about it. Case is a more centrist politician who angered the state's Democratic leaders when he challenged Akaka in a 2006 primary.