Former state Sen. Gary Hooser over the weekend said he’s seriously thinking of running for Congress again.

Hooser, who represented Kauai in the Hawaii Legislature, tweeted supporters the following:

I can no longer merely watch from the sidelines as the “politics as usual” in Washington threatens the very fabric of our lives and the security of our democracy slips further and further every day.

If Hooser enters the race, that will bring to three the number of Democrats running for CD2 — that is, the 2nd Congressional District.

The last time the seat became open, eight well-known Democrats vied for the seat, as did two well-known Republicans.

Less then a year away from the 2012 primary, why are there not more candidates in the race?

Announcements Coming?

One of the declared candidates is a Honolulu City Council member — Tulsi Gabbard — and the other is someone few people have heard of — Esther Kiaaina, an employee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Both are Democrats.

Mufi Hannemann and Kirk Caldwell are interested in the race (or maybe Colleen Hanabusa‘s CD1 seat, if she elects to run for Senate), and we may hear from both shortly. Strange, however, that no announcement has come yet, though the incumbent, Mazie Hirono, announced three months ago that she would leave the seat to run for the U.S. Senate.

When Ed Case left the seat open to run against Daniel Akaka in 2006, the Democrats who filed to run included Hirono, Hooser, Hanabusa, Brian Schatz, Clayton Hee, Nestor Garcia, Matt Matsunaga and Ron Menor. The Republican candidates were Bob Hogue and Quentin Kawananakoa.

All 10 candidates were accomplished and credible.

When CD1 came open last year, with the resignation of Neil Abercrombie, the Democrats in the race were Case and Hanabusa while the GOP candidate was Charles Djou. Again, big names.

Tulsi Gabbard? She’s only 30 and, arguably, not quite in the same league.

Hawaii might end up having a contested CD2 after all. Maybe, though, the U.S. House of Representatives isn’t as attractive a place of employment as it once was. Tea Party, anyone?

Keep an eye on Kiaaina, however. In addition to extensive experience working in government both here and in D.C., she’s a relative fresh face to most voters. She also knows a lot of connected people.

Kiaaina is also Native Hawaiian. With Akaka’s retirement, there will be no Hawaiians in Congress unless Hawaii sends one there.

Two other Hawaiians — Democrat Hee and Republican James “Duke” Aiona — might be thinking about running, too.

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