Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has announced that she will run for U.S. Senate, reports the Honolulu Star Advertiser. The twice-divorced and lame duck Republican governor gained national notoriety when she cowardly vetoed a civil unions bill in July 2010.
Lingle, the first woman and the first Republican elected governor in four decades, will stress her chief executive experience in her campaign. ... Lingle will face John Carroll, an attorney and former state lawmaker, in the Republican primary. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and former Rep. Ed Case are the Democratic contenders to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who is not seeking another term next year.
Democrats plan to highlight Lingle's relationship to Sarah Palin. "Lingle, who knew Palin from the Republican Governors Association, spoke warmly of Palin when she was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2008 and helped introduce her at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul."
HB 444, the previous Hawaii civil unions bill, passed by the legislature in April 2010. Proclaiming that she was against "same gender marriage", the twice-opposite-gender married and twice-opposite-gender divorced Republican governor announced her veto of HB444 on July 6, 2010. "I'm comfortable about my decision," Lingle said at the time. "I gave it the respect it deserved."
Civil unions are now legal in Hawaii. Hawaii became the seventh state to grant civil unions to same-sex couples when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed them into law in February 2011. Six states and the District of Columbia grant equal marriage.