HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Republican Charles Djou won the special election for Hawaii's First Congressional District. The Honolulu City Councilmember grabbed 39% of the vote. State Senate president Colleen Hanabusa came in second with 30% of the vote. Former US Representative Ed Case came in third, gathering 27% the vote.
"This is a momentous day. We have sent a message to the United States Congress. We have sent a message to the ex-governors. We have sent a message to the national Democrats. We have sent a message to the machine. We have told them, that we will not stand idly by as our great nation is burdened by too much taxes and too much wasteful spending" said Representative-elect Djou in front of hundreds of supporters at Republican headquarters in Honolulu.
The biggest surprise of the evening for political observers was the third place finish by former US Representative Ed Case. Polls had showed him trailing Djou, but ahead of Hawaii State Senate president Colleen Hanabusa.
"This was not our night. I congratulate Charles Djou… the people of this district, for whatever reason, have selected him to serve the next seven months." said Case.
"I'm going to offer whatever support I can, for the job that he is undertaking, a very serious and significant job."
At Hanabusa's headquarters, supporters chanted "November" as they look ahead to the general election. Hanabusa and Case will likely square off again before that. Both will attempt to win over Democrats in the September 18 primary, for the right to challenge Djou in the November general election.
"The real issue is you've got to add Ed's and my votes together… Charles does not have a majority by far. I believe that the First Congressional… would lean Democrat if not vote Democrat. When you added two together, Charles didn't win by a majority. So I believe that that's a major statement, and that's what I believe Washington's going to be looking at" said Hanabusa.
The final results:
Charles Djou 39.4% 67,610
Colleen Hanabusa 30.8% 52,802
Ed Case 27.6% 47,391
Over 171,000 ballots were received, representing 54% of registered voters.
Djou will be the first Republican to represent Hawaii in Congress since Pat Saiki, who served from 1986-1990. He will have to begin campaigning again almost immediately, as the seat will be up for grabs again in the November general election.
"I wish both Ed and Colleen very well. In terms of the internal dynamics of the Democratic party, that's something for them to sort out. I look forward to facing one of them in November but in the meantime I have a job to do. I am going to focus in on being the best representative that I can for the people of Hawaii" said Djou.
More about this story on HawaiiNewsNow.com:
Djou's victory in Hawaii: the reaction