In a big boost to her campaign, Hawaii’s chapter of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is backing Colleen Hanabusa for U.S. Senate.

The 18,000-member ILWU Local 142 made the announcement today. Hanabusa, the U.S. representative who is leaving her seat to challenge Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary, is a labor attorney who has previously enjoyed ILWU support.

But Schatz, the incumbent appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to take the seat of the late Dan Inouye, has thus far won the lion’s share of union support, including the Hawaii Government Employees Association.The ILWU nod may encourage other union members to give consideration to Hanabusa.


Photo: Screen shot, Dec. 19, 2013. (ILWU Local 142)

—Chad Blair