WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - More big news out of the Democratic convention on Sunday.
Ed Case has dropped out of the race for Congress He came in third in last week's special election.
He and rival Colleen Hanabusa split the vote among Democrats..
Case says his heart tells him to stay in this fight, but his head says this has become the wrong fight.
"Colleen, I don't hate you, in fact I've discovered during this campaign that you have a certain charm to you," Case said in his speech addressing delegates.
The bad blood between the two Democratic congressional candidates seemed to have evaporated on Sunday.
"In this contest of values, there is room for only one standard bearer for our party, anything else would only divide us," Case said. "Many say that standard bearer should be determined in the upcoming primary and in the normal case, that would be how we should do it."
But in a surprise move, Case closed the case on himself and focused on supporting Hanabusa.
"Given what's at stake and last week's election results, I've concluded we need to make that decision now," he said.
After announcing his decision, the hundreds in attendance at the State Democratic Convention gave Case a standing ovation for more than a minute.
Hanabusa joined him on stage and even took the lead in raising their hands together. It was quite a contrast from just a week ago.
"I think that's the most applause I've gotten for a long time and I feel like asking whether I would've gotten a lei if I hadn't announced this," he said.
Case and his wife Audrey just returned from their high school reunion on the Big Island.
He says it's there, that the enduring friendships and life lessons of their youth enabled them to come to a resolution on the best path forward.
That and less than favorable results in the special election, where he ultimately fell behind Hanabusa, after leading in the polls, helped Case with this decision.
"I know you have the capabilities within you to listen and reach out, adopt and adjust and go forward and I'm trusting you to do that," he said to Hanabusa.
After his speech, Case had no problem introducing the next speaker, his former foe, turned friend Hanabusa.
"I would like to begin by saying that the magnanimous gesture of Ed Case is something I'll never forget and every Democrat in this room shouldn't forget that either," Hanabusa said.
Case did not rule out running for political office in the future. He says service has been and always will be central to his very being.
"I was deeply moved by Ed Case, he showed that he's a Democrat," U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye said. "When we must fight we fight, when it's over, we embrace each other."
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