Cam Cavasso announces run for U.S. Senate

By Paula Akana
Published On: Apr 15 2014 08:45:00 PM HST

Cam Cavasso tossed his hat into the ring for the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Daniel Inouye.

HONOLULU -

A familiar face has tossed his hat into the ring for the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Daniel Inouye.

Cam Cavasso is the sole Republican -- so far -- to run for the coveted seat and political analysts say he has a tough road ahead.

Click here to watch Paula Akana's report.

"When Daniel Inouye died, it was an obvious choice to me. I ran against him for this seat three years ago and I'm called to serve," said Cavasso.

Cavasso kicked off his run for Inouye's senate seat on the grounds of the state capitol with a canoe as his backdrop; portraying himself as a steersman for Hawaii's future.

The conservative republican served three terms in the state house beginning in the mid-80s and he has spent more than two decades as a financial advisor. He now runs his Waimanalo farm.

As he pointed out, he ran against Inouye before for this very seat in 2004. He garnered 87,000 votes to Inouye's nearly 314,000.

In 2010, Cavasso received nearly 80,000 votes, but there lies the problem with his candidacy says political analyst Neal Milner. There aren't enough republicans in Hawaii.

"Unless he can show he can really draw some numbers, he's not going to get any money from the national republican campaign committee. That's kind of a Catch-22 because you can't show it if you don't get the money and if you don't have the money, it makes your campaign even harder," said Milner.

Cavasso declined to weigh in on the recent controversy over the late Senator's letter outlining who should take his place; pointing out Brian Schatz was only appointed in the interim. The special election is to fill the remainder of Inouye's term is the key race.

"I want to do that as a conservative family republican. Daniel Inouye was a conservative once -- when he began in office -- and I will take that legacy and will run with it," said Cavasso.

Cavasso is a conservative politician and Milner says he could conceivably pick up conservative votes from outside his party, but Milner doesn't believe it would be enough.

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