Congressional race heats up - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Congressional race heats up

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye
Ed Case Ed Case
Colleen Hanabusa Colleen Hanabusa
Charles Djou Charles Djou
Congressman Neil Abercrombie Congressman Neil Abercrombie

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The congressional race is heating up, as one candidate shows off her new headquarters and picks up some key endorsements.

Congressman Neil Abercrombie's seat is up for grabs in an upcoming special election.

The top-running democrats include Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa, while Charles Djou heads up the republican side. All three are already gearing up for a tough fight to the finish.

Three front-runners and one important seat. At the end of next month, Congressman Abercrombie, the man vacating this important seat, is leaving to run for governor.

"I want to point out that this isn't a primary election, this is all or nothing, this is a one bang," U.S. senator Daniel Inouye said.

A bang is what candidate colleen Hanabusa hoped for as she opened her campaign headquarters on Saturday.

"It is an honor and it is something that I believe deep in my heart that it is something that I'm good at," Hanabusa said.

The current senate president has represented Oahu's Leeward Coast for more than 10 years. She got some key endorsements on Saturday, including the HGEA and SHOPO.

"I am not me, I am a product of all of you and this is what this election is all about," she said.

Similarly to other tough elections, this one doesn't lack bad blood between the candidates.

U.S. senators Dan Akaka and Inouye quickly got behind Hanabusa, instead of the other fellow democrat and former congressman Case.

Inouye says after Patsy Mink passed away, he wanted her husband to finish up her term as congresswoman, but Case ran anyway.

"Then this fella Mr. Case came along and he says, I'm gonna run for that and many of us literally begged please, let John close up the chapter, no he ran, John lost," Inouye said.

But Case says Hawaii would stand to lose seniority because Mink's husband wasn't planning to run for re-election if he won.

"I hope the issues come down to who can best represent Hawaii in the U.S. congress," Case said. "In terms of my opponent of my opponent, Ms. Hanabusa, I hope she debate me directly on the issues so that people can see us side by side and make that judgement."

The congressional seat's other top candidate, republican and Honolulu City councilman Charles Djou, took to the streets on Saturday, hoping to get crucial votes.

"I know it's impressive to have a fancy headquarters and lots of endorsements, but the ultimate people who decide this are the people and that's why I'm here with my volunteers, trying to meet people one at a time," Djou said.

The state is leaning towards having a special election in May, possibly on the 1st. If election officials fail to agree on this, the special election could be put off until the primary in September.

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