By Malia Zimmerman | Hawaii Reporter
HONOLULU — Should U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-District 2, win the U.S. Senate election in November, she will help select Hawaii’s next federal judge.
And for Hawaii’s most powerful Democrats, that judicial candidate will be Andrew Winer, a tort lawyer and political strategist. He is among three finalists being considered to replace U.S. District Judge David Ezra.
Winer is a lead strategist for Hirono’s U.S. Senate campaign, but Hirono won’t comment on Winer’s application, or whether she will recuse herself should he officially be nominated.
One of Hawaii’s most politically connected attorneys, Winer directed President Barack Obama’s Hawaii election campaign in 2008 and subsequently took a position in the Obama administration, serving as director of external affairs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He resigned that position and returned to Hawaii earlier this year.
Before heading Obama’s campaign, an easy sell in Obama’s childhood home state, he was a key operative in campaigns against Democrats and Republicans.