President Barack Obama today endorsed Brian Schatz in Hawaii’s U.S. Senate contest.

The president, according to a press release from the Schatz campaign, noted the candidate’s “effective leadership in the Senate and his work to protect Social Security, promote clean energy, and fight for middle-class families.”

Schatz, who was appointed to fill the seat of the late Dan Inouye in December 2012, faces U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Aug. 9 Democratic primary.

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Photo: Sen. Brian Schatz. (PF Bentley/Civil Beat)

—Chad Blair