Brian Schatz

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Updated: May 2017

Brian Schatz is one of two Democratic U.S. senators representing Hawaii. He was selected to fill the seat that belonged to the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and elected in his own right in 2014 and re-elected in 2016.

Before becoming a senator, Schatz was elected Hawaii’s lieutenant governor in 2010.

He previously served in the Hawaii House of Representatives and is a former chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.


The Basics

Brian Schatz is one of two Democratic U.S. senators representing Hawaii. He was selected to fill the seat that belonged to the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and elected in his own right in 2014 and re-elected in 2016.

Before becoming a senator, Schatz was elected Hawaii’s lieutenant governor in 2010.

He previously served in the Hawaii House of Representatives and is a former chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

Schatz is married to Linda Schatz. They have two children.

Early Life/Career

Schatz was born on Oct. 20, 1972, in Michigan and moved to Hawaii when he was 2 years old. Schatz was raised in Hawaii and attended Punahou School. After high school, Schatz went to Pomona College in California and received a degree in philosophy.

He returned to Hawaii after college and worked for a nonprofit organization. In 1998, Schatz was elected to represent Hawaii’s 25th Legislative District: Makiki, McCully and Tantalus.

During his time in the House, Schatz chaired the Economic Development Committee and was appointed majority whip.

In 2006, Schatz ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary to serve Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. Leaving the House, Schatz served as the chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii from May 2008 to 2010.

Schatz also chaired the Hawaii Draft Obama Campaign and was instrumental for the president’s successful 2008 campaign in Hawaii.

The Path To The U.S. Senate

Schatz was elected as Hawaii lieutenant governor in 2010, running with Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

In his two years as Abercrombie’s second-in-command, Schatz led efforts to secure public and private funding for state initiatives and became the administration’s point man on energy issues, dubbed Hawaii’s “ambassador of energy.”

Schatz was appointed on Dec. 26, 2012, by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to replace the late Sen. Dan Inouye in the U.S. Senate. Abercrombie chose Schatz over Inouye’s hand-picked successor, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, saying that the appointment of the then-40-year-old lieutenant governor was “in the best interest of the state of Hawaii and the nation.”

Hanabusa challenged Schatz for the seat in the 2014 primary election. But Schatz defeated Hanabusa by just 1,782 votes, after a delayed vote count as the state allowed voters in the Big Island’s Puna District to cast belated ballots because their polling places had been closed on Election Day due to a tropical storm.

Schatz went on to handily defeat Republican Cam Cavasso in the Nov. 4, 2014, general election.

Schatz was re-elected in a landslide in 2016 to serve a full six-year term. His profile on the national scene is rising, particularly concerning the issues of renewable energy, global warming and internet neutrality.

Now Hawaii’s senior senator, having been sworn in just days before fellow Democrat Mazie Hirono, Schatz has focused on global warming, renewable energy, college affordability, entitlement programs, veterans issues and Native Hawaiians.

He is a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and also serves on the committees for Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Indian Affairs.

He also serves in a leadership position as Chief Deputy Whip.


Brian Schatz

December 2017

Wednesday, December 20

Hawaii Delegates Speak Out Against GOP Tax Bill ‘Scam’

November 2017

Monday, November 27

Chad Blair: Brian Schatz Is In The Hot Seat Now

Friday, November 17

How Brian Schatz Is Becoming The Senate’s Chief Science Nerd

September 2017

Friday, September 22

Chad Blair: Schatz On Wrong Side Of Vote To Debate Endless War

August 2017

Tuesday, August 15

Sen. Brian Schatz: Trump Is ‘Not My President’

July 2017

Friday, July 21

Hirono’s Up For Re-Election Next Year But Schatz Has Twice The Cash

June 2017

Tuesday, June 13

Hawaii Leaders Say State Is Under ‘Attack’ With Loss Of Federal Funds

Thursday, June 1

Brian Schatz: ‘Invigorating To See People So Engaged’ In Resisting Trump

May 2017

Tuesday, May 2

‘Hawaii Got Almost Everything We Sought’ In Federal Budget

April 2017

Friday, April 21

Hirono Has $1 Million On Hand For Likely Senate Re-election Bid

Tuesday, April 18

New Federal Law Enhances Tsunami Detection Measures

Monday, April 17

Schatz Optimistic About Resistance To Trump Agenda In DC

February 2017

Friday, February 24

No New Housing For Hawaiians Despite Millions In The Bank

January 2017

Sunday, January 29

Schatz To Oppose Tillerson, Sessions Nominations

Monday, January 23

Few Tears Shed In Hawaii As Trump Dumps Pacific Trade Pact

Thursday, January 12

Schatz Gets Key Role On Military Panel

November 2016

Tuesday, November 15

Hawaii Hasn’t Been This Short On Congressional Clout In Awhile

Friday, November 11

Schatz: Remember Sanders’ Passion When Looking To 2018 Vote

Tuesday, November 8

Schatz, Gabbard, Hanabusa Win Big In Congressional Races

October 2016

Thursday, October 27

Shoo-In Candidates For Congress Raise Nearly $1M, Spend More

August 2016

Saturday, August 13

Schatz, Gabbard And Hanabusa Win Congressional Primaries

Thursday, August 4

Schatz Slams Trump On Philippines

Will Congress Pass Zika Bill?

July 2016

Wednesday, July 27

Convention Delegate Doesn’t Regret Flipping The Bird In Philly

Tuesday, July 26

Why It’s So Hard To Find A Fresh Voice In Hawaii Politics

Friday, July 22

Judaism In Hawaii Politics

Wednesday, July 20

Schatz Shows Fundraising Prowess

How Two Different People Could Win The Same US House Seat

Tuesday, July 19

Schatz Enjoys A Comfortable Perch On Capitol Hill

Sunday, July 17

Schatz Visiting Asian Leaders

Friday, July 15

House Passes GMO Label Bill

Sunday, July 10

New Bills From Hawaii’s Senators

Friday, July 8

Hirono, Schatz Split GMO Votes

June 2016

Wednesday, June 22

Gun Control Sit-In In House

Monday, June 20

Senate Kills Four Gun Bills

Bill: Study Pot’s Medical Value

Thursday, June 16

Senate To Vote On Gun Bills

Friday, June 10

Schatz: ‘We Feel Good’ About Coming Election

Wednesday, June 1

Warren: Schatz ‘A True Progressive’

May 2016

Sunday, May 29

Takai Indicates Support For Hanabusa

Tuesday, May 24

Hanabusa To Run For Takai’s Seat In Congress?

Wednesday, May 18

Judge Garland ‘Impressive,’ Says Hirono

Thursday, May 12

Schatz’s Hawaii PAC Has Brought In $220K In Two Years

Tuesday, May 10

Schatz Meets With Merrick Garland

Friday, May 6

Schatz Takes On D.C., Homelessness And The Donald

April 2016

Saturday, April 30

Schatz Has $3M In Campaign Cash

Monday, April 25

Schatz A ‘Rising Energy, Enviro Star’

Friday, April 1

Hawaii Gets Another Superdelegate For Democratic Convention

March 2016

Thursday, March 17

Schatz To GOP: ‘Do Your Job’

Wednesday, March 16

Hirono Votes Against GMO Bill

Sunday, March 13

Hawaii Reps Act On Immigration

February 2016

Thursday, February 25

Hirono, Schatz Push SCOTUS Pick

Thursday, February 4

$2.6M In Schatz’s War Chest

December 2015

Friday, December 18

Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation Pleased With Budget Deal

Sunday, December 6

Schatz Bullish On Global Climate Agreement

October 2015

Friday, October 23

Schatz Sitting Pretty On $2.3M Campaign War Chest

September 2015

Friday, September 25

Schatz: Just Say No to Arctic Drilling

Wednesday, September 2

Schatz: Housing First Is Solution to Hawaii’s Homelessness Problem

July 2015

Friday, July 24

Pro-Israel Lobby Fills Hawaii’s TV Airtime to Push Against Iran Deal

June 2015

Thursday, June 18

Partisan Fight Erupts in US Senate Over the Defense Budget

May 2015

Tuesday, May 26

Fast Track for TPP Was the Right Move

Tuesday, May 5

Schatz and Hirono Call for Stronger Monitoring of Birth-Control Mandate

April 2015

Monday, April 27

Roll Call: Hawaii’s DC Delegation Packs the Least Punch

March 2015

Thursday, March 26

US Senate Endorses Same-Sex Marriage Benefits

Tuesday, March 24

President, GOP Spar Over Budget as ACA Hits 5 Years

Friday, March 20

Hirono Among Latest Senators to Visit Guantanamo

February 2015

Tuesday, February 24

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Tsunami Warning System?

Thursday, February 19

Schatz: Protecting Federal Money for Rail a Top Priority

Monday, February 9

Schatz: ‘Glimmer of Hope’ on Climate Change, Energy Policy

Monday, February 2

Schatz Backs Clinton for President

November 2014

Tuesday, November 4

Hawaii U.S. Senate: Incumbent Brian Schatz Wins 2 More Years

Monday, November 3

Schatz Helps Fellow Dems as Republican Underdog Tries to Unseat Him

August 2014

Tuesday, August 19

Hanabusa Won’t Challenge US Senate Election Results

Sunday, August 17

Schatz: I’m Not Ready to Leave Puna Behind

Friday, August 15

Hawaii Primary: Schatz Hangs On To Win US Senate Race

Sunday, August 10

Will Hanabusa’s Push in Puna Be Enough?

Saturday, August 9

Hawaii US Senate: Schatz Leads Hanabusa — Slightly

June 2014

Monday, June 2

Ad Watch: Schatz Takes on Big Oil, Climate Change in New Pitch

May 2014

Saturday, May 24

Ad Watch: Hanabusa Hits the TV Airwaves, Touts Local Upbringing

Thursday, May 22

Ad Watch: Hanabusa Airs First Ad, Highlighting her Hawaii Roots

April 2014

Friday, April 25

Campaign Cash Advantage: Schatz’s Edge Over Hanabusa Is Paying Off

Thursday, April 17

Did Sen. Brian Schatz Score Big Political Points With Climate Summit?

Saturday, April 12

Ad Watch: Schatz Touts Equal Pay for Women in Latest TV Spot

Wednesday, April 9

Hanabusa Vs. Schatz — Will Voting Records Matter to Hawaii?

March 2014

Wednesday, March 26

No Love? Hanabusa and Schatz Can’t Find Nice Words for Each Other

Friday, March 21

The Middle Man: Hawaii’s Brian Schatz Zeroes In On Working Families

January 2014

Friday, January 10

Report Cards for Hawaii’s D.C. Delegates: How’d They Do?

December 2013

Tuesday, December 3

Bloomberg to Headline Schatz Reception in Honolulu

October 2013

Monday, October 21

Civil Beat Poll — Schatz Has Narrow Lead Over Hanabusa

September 2013

Wednesday, September 25

Chad Blair: Brian Schatz, Hawaii’s Super Senator?

July 2013

Tuesday, July 23

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

Monday, July 22

Hawaii’s Hanging Chad: Political Blood and Gore

Wednesday, July 3

Hanabusa Supporters Say Leadership Beats Seniority

June 2013

Friday, June 28

Civil Beat Poll – A Year Out, Hawaii Senate Race Up For Grabs

A House Divided — Which Way Will Democrats in Hawaii Go?

Saturday, June 22

Can Inouye’s Ghost Take Down Sen. Brian Schatz?

May 2013

Thursday, May 23

Schatz Carries On Inouye Dream For Native American Memorial

Hanabusa And Schatz Differ Over Making Drug Companies Pay

Thursday, May 16

Hawaii Delegation Backs Reforms Against Military Sexual Assaults

Maui Tea Party Group: IRS Intimidated Us

Tuesday, May 14

Micronesian Windfall? Hawaii Could Get $40M From Feds

Saturday, May 4

Senate Race Just Begun, But It’s All About Inouye

March 2013

Wednesday, March 20

Will Championing The Environment Win Brian Schatz A U.S. Senate Seat?

January 2013

Tuesday, January 15

Sen. Brian Schatz Talks Washington Politics

December 2012

Friday, December 28

Schatz Talk: Hawaii’s Newest Senator ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Climate Change

Wednesday, December 26

Why Abercrombie Didn’t Pick Hanabusa

October 2011

Tuesday, October 25

Hawaii’s Future Leaders: Where Are They?

September 2011

Friday, September 23

Capitol Watch: Sept. 23

Sunday, September 18

Capitol Watch: Sept. 19

June 2011

Wednesday, June 22

Newsmaker: Interview With Lt. Governor Brian Schatz

May 2011

Friday, May 20

Hirono Sparks Political Free-For-All

Wednesday, May 4

Schatz: Feds Will Provide APEC Funds

March 2011

Wednesday, March 23

Capitol Watch: March 24

January 2011

Sunday, January 2

Capitol Watch: Jan. 3

December 2010

Friday, December 10

Capitol Watch: Dec. 10

Tuesday, December 7

Experience The Inauguration in Less Than Three Minutes

On Abercrombie’s First Day, Everything Old Seemed New Again

Friday, December 3

Abercrombie Spent $4.6M on Winning Campaign

Thursday, December 2

Capitol Watch: Dec. 3

November 2010

Friday, November 12

Capitol Watch: Nov. 12

Tuesday, November 9

Capitol Watch: Nov. 9, 2010

Saturday, November 6

Gov Watch: Nov. 8, 2010

Thursday, November 4

Tight Races Attract $21.8M to Hawaii Campaigns

Wednesday, November 3

What Recession? Candidates Spend Big for General Election

The Faces of Neil Abercrombie’s Supporters — A Slideshow by John Hook

Tuesday, November 2

A Look at Late, Late Money Entering Races

October 2010

Tuesday, October 26

Where Neil, Brian, Duke and Lynn Get Their Money

Aiona Can’t Catch Abercrombie in Money Race

Wednesday, October 20

Garden Variety: Kauai’s Gov-Lt. Gov. Debate

Friday, October 15

Q&A With Brian Schatz

Friday, October 8

Schatz: Hawaii Missed Out On $20 Million Per Year for Medicaid Reimbursements

Neil + Brian = Bromance

Tuesday, October 5

Duke Compares Plans, Neil Plans For Plan

September 2010

Monday, September 27

Duke ‘n Lynn Firing on All Pistons