Hogue: Working For Average Folks

Dan Boylan
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Wednesday - July 05, 2006
| Del.icio.us

His opponent for the Republican nomination for the 2nd District congressional seat boasts a $1 million campaign war chest and a princely Hawaiian name.

So how does state Sen. Bob Hogue win?

“By being Bob Hogue,” he says.

“People appreciate that I’ve been out there involved in the community since I came to Hawaii in 1988. They know that I’m a positive person, and that as a politician I stand up for the average guy who’s working hard to live here.”

Hogue believes that being positive is particularly important to the voters these days.

“People are tired of negativity, rancor, and bickering by our politicians,” he says. “They want elected officials who speak in positive tones.”

Hogue is a nice guy. One woman who’s worked with him for almost a decade gushes: “He’s such a nice man.”

Says a longtime hanger-on at the state Capitol: “Hogue’s the haole Danny Akaka. Everybody likes him.”

Most of the state’s voters feel that way as well. How do they know?

For 12 years, Hogue came into their living rooms as the sports guy sitting beside Joe Moore on KHON’s highly rated evening newscasts. Moore and Hogue enjoyed great chemistry, and the sportcaster’s niceness was palpable.

Then in 2000, with a change in ownership at KHON, Hogue was fired. That fall, the sports-caster won a two-year term in the state Senate from the 24th District (Kaneohe-Kailua). He was re-elected to a four-year term in 2002.

While Hogue’s name may not be princely, his 12 years on the state’s highest-rated television newscast gives it recognition as great as any of the dozen aspirants for the 2nd District congressional seat.

Hogue didn’t start out to be a television personality. Born and reared in California, he attended the University of Southern California. At 6 feet 5 inches, Hogue made an imposing figure on the pitching mound and played for the national champion Trojan baseball team.

“I was No. 13 on a 16-man pitching staff,” he admits. “I threw a lot of batting practice.”

Hogue graduated with a degree in accounting and spent two years working for Price, Waterhouse.

But the accountant had always wanted to be a broadcaster.

“I grew up listening to Vin Scully and Dick Enberg,” says Hogue. “They were my heroes. Both were so positive, and they studied the game.”

So Hogue attended a broadcasting workshop and found a job with a radio station in Arizona.

“I saw the USA the broadcasting way,” he says.

From Arizona he went to a television job in Montana, then to Iowa where he became the play-by-play man for the University of Iowa basketball team.

In 1984 he moved to Sacramento, hoping to broadcast the NBA Sacramento Kings’ games, but Hogue’s new employer lost its bid for the broadcasting rights.

In ‘88, Hogue joined KHON in Honolulu.

Hogue remains active in Hawaii’s sports media. He’s long written a sports column for MidWeek, broadcasts high school sports on OC-16, and does Hawaii Pacific University basketball games.

“There’ve been times when I’ve worked four jobs,” says Hogue. “Come to think of it, sometimes six.”

One job he’s giving up is his seat in the state Senate. Unlike mid-term Democratic Sens.

Colleen Hanabusa, Clayton Hee, and Ron Menor, Hogue’s congressional candidacy ends his tenure in the Senate.

“I think people appreciate that I’m willing to take a chance on losing public office,” he says. “It shows sincerity and commitment on my part.”

Hogue points with pride to his opposition to the Department of Transportation’s van cams and the gas cap.

He also cites his signing a pledge not to vote for any tax increases while in the Senate.

“And I’ve stood by that pledge,” he says.

Hogue’s first wife Joanne died in 1991. He and second wife Elaine have four children between them. They are longtime residents of Kailua.

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