Hanabusa touts Hawaii ties in first ad

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) launched her first campaign ad in her primary challenge to Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), a positive spot touting her connections to the state and her middle-class roots.

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A narrator declares at the opening of the ad, “from the Waianae Coast to Washington, D.C., Colleen Hanabusa’s life has been a journey.”

The ad declares she learned “the value of hard work” and “the spirit of Hawaii” from her parents and neighbors while living behind her family’s gas station.

“It was a good way to grow up. It was the best way to grow up,” Hanabusa says, “around people and traditions and cultures.”

Hanabusa goes on to say that “a good living, a good education, a good job, a good home” aren’t things that only the “privileged and the fortunate” should enjoy.

The ad takes a different approach from Schatz’s previous three ads, which touch on top Democratic issues like Social Security and equal pay for women. And it underscores the cash disadvantage Hanabusa has in the primary, as Schatz has been on TV for nearly two months, while Hanabusa is just now going up on radio.

Schatz was appointed to the Senate in late 2012, following the death of former Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii). Inouye had reportedly encouraged Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) to appoint Hanabusa to his seat before his passing, but Abercrombie instead chose Schatz, formerly the state’s lieutenant governor, for the seat.

Most polling has shown the race to be tight, with Schatz holding a slight lead, but a recent survey from a pro-Schatz group showed him up double digits, after receiving President Obama’s endorsement in the primary.

Listen to the ad here:

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