FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Mazie Hirono for reelection to the United States Senate. EMILYs List President Laphonza Butler released the following statement:
“Since the beginning of her career as a lawyer and member of Hawai’i’s House of Representatives, Sen. Mazie Hirono has been a champion for women, seniors, veterans, and young people. EMILYs List has been proud to stand by this pro-choice champion over the years, and we are proud to endorse her reelection campaign this year because we know that voices like Sen. Hirono’s are essential to ensuring a majority in the Senate that will protect reproductive freedom and civil rights for all.”
Born in Fukushima, Japan, Sen. Mazie Hirono is the only immigrant currently serving in the U.S. Senate, and she is running for reelection to continue her outstanding representation of the people of Hawai’i. After spending the first few years of her life living on her grandparents’ rice farm, she moved to the United States when she was nearly eight years old, after her mother made the decision to escape from her abusive marriage to Hirono’s father, taking Hirono and her brother across the Pacific Ocean to Hawai‘i with all of the family’s possessions packed into one suitcase. In Hawai‘i, her mother worked as a typesetter for a Japanese-language newspaper during the day and for a catering company at night, while the family lived in a rented room at a boarding house, sleeping sideways to share one bed. Hirono started elementary school in Hawai‘i before she could read or speak English and helped earn money to cover her school lunches by working as a student cashier at her elementary school and cover other family expenses by delivering newspapers after school. After graduating from high school, Hirono worked her way through college at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and through law school at Georgetown, moving back to Hawai‘i after finishing her degrees to work as an attorney. In 1980, she successfully ran for a seat in the Hawai‘i House of Representatives, where she served until 1994, when she was elected as the state’s lieutenant governor. In 2006, Hirono was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after winning a highly-contested, 10-way primary for the Democratic nomination with the early support of EMILYs List. In 2012, Hirono ran for the U.S. Senate and won, becoming the first woman ever to represent her home state in the Senate and the first Asian American woman ever to serve in that chamber.
EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.