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Former Hawaii governor who vetoed same-sex civil unions announces U.S. Senate bid

Former Hawaii governor who vetoed same-sex civil unions announces U.S. Senate bid

HONOLULU — Former Republican Governor Linda Lingle on Tuesday announced that she will be a candidate for the U.S. Senate Seat currently held by retiring Democrat, Daniel Akaka.

Linda Lingle

Lingle, whose 2010 veto stopped a civil unions bill giving the Aloha state’s same-sex couples the same protections under the law as married heterosexual couples, is already drawing criticism.

Matt Canter, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

“Today marks Linda Lingle’s biggest announcement since she nominated Sarah Palin for Vice President [at the 2008 Republican National Convention], an event that typifies Lingle’s partisan Republican approach to governing,” said Canter.

“Now Lingle wants to go to Washington to become a rubber-stamp for Mitch McConnell and the Republican party whose sole priority is to defeat President Obama at every turn.”

Lingle disagreed, saying in an interview with a local radio show:

“I want to be real clear on this point: I don’t work for (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell, and for that matter I don’t work for President Obama. I work for the people of Hawaii. […] “And if there is a law being proposed, whether it’s from the president or from Mitch McConnell, if it’s good for Hawaii I’m for it. If it’s not good for us, I’m against it regardless of who introduces it.”

Seven months following her veto, the new Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the same-sex civil unions into law, just one week after the bill again passed the state Legislature.

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