As observers in the Aloha State await announcements from several high profile politicians believed to be mulling a bid for the seat being vacated by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), one potential candidate is already taking the next step toward exploring a run.
State Senate Vice President Donna Mercado Kim (D) is planning to form an exploratory committee in the hopes of financing a poll, as first reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser earlier this week.
"I've had my eye on the Senate seat," Kim told Hotline On Call on Wednesday. "I felt that should Sen. Akaka step down, that I would be interested in pursuing that. So I've been thinking about it for a year or two."
The Star-Advertiser reports Kim "is known for her investigations of state departments and agencies."
She said she participated in a program that allowed her to shadow Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) a couple of years ago, which, in part sparked her interest in going to Washington.
Kim told Hotline On Call she's friends with a some of the bigger name candidates who remain possibilities for the race including Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D), with whom she served in the state Senate, and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (D), who is the godfather of Kim's son and a high school friend.
While she is not a household name, Kim's interest in the race illustrates how a Democratic primary that already promises to be crowded could grow, in time, to become even more jam-packed.