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House Seat Up For Grabs As Rep. Case Runs For Senate

KITV The Hawaii Channel
March 1, 2006

HONOLULU -- Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said on Wednesday that he is considering making a run for the congressional seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Ed Case.

Carlisle is the only potential candidate for Congress who's already been elected to island-wide office on Oahu. That's a good place from which to start a campaign for the nation's capital.
Case will not run for re-election. Instead, he chose to run for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Daniel Akaka.

Carlisle spoke about it during a live interview on KSSK radio.
"I'm actually considering it, for once, something I've never done in the past, but I am considering it now. No decision has been made, none. So it's premature for me to make any other comment," he said.

Carlisle later declined an on-camera interview, and would not say whether he'd run as a Democrat or Republican. Political insiders widely believe he would run for office as a member of the GOP.

He sat at the governor's table for the Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser last month.

"He has reasonably good name recognition, certainly on this island," University of Hawaii political science professor Neal Milner said.

Carlisle has two years left on his third term as prosecutor and would not have to resign to run.
Milner said prosecutors do well running for Congress.

"You become a kind of law-and-order person. He's been outside of party politics for long enough, so he can create a nice image for himself as being someone who's efficient and effective," Milner said.

There are others considering a run on the Republican side, including former state Rep. Quentin Kawananakoa, who dropped out of a congressional race in 1998 after being hospitalized twice for high blood pressure. Former Councilman Mike Gabbard and state Sen. Bob Hogue are also possible candidates.

Democrat candidates had differing views on Carlisle's potential run for office.
"I think it's going to be an exciting race and I think he'll make it even more exciting. People are going to have a real choice this election cycle," state Rep. Brian Schatz said.

"You don't actually have to live in the district. However, I think the people in the second congressional district deserve someone who lives in the district and who truly understand the fundamental differences between urban dwelling and rural dwelling," Rep. Gary Hooser said.
Hooser referred to the fact that Carlisle does not live in the 2nd Congressional District, which covers rural Oahu and the neighbor islands. Carlisle lives in Hawaii Kai, but federal law does not require him to move into the district to run.

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