HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Former US Congressman Neil Abercrombie has defeated former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Abercrombie received over 59% of the votes cast to Hannemann's 38%. Three other Democratic candidates received less than 2% of the votes.
"The legacy of the Democratic Party for opportunity and justice is alive and well in Hawaii tonight, as Mayor Hannemann reached out to me, I reach out with open arms to all the supporters of Mufi Hannemann and I will do everything I can to earn your consideration and earn your trust and earn your respect" said Abercrombie, who joined with running mate Brian Schatz, who won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.
"I have always believed that when you compete, you try to win. And when you don't win, you got to be the first to congratulate that person or that team that beat you. I want you to know I just had a wonderful conversation with the Democratic nominee for governor, Neil Abercrombie and Gail and I told him and his wife, Nancy, we wish him the best and we are going to support him" said Hannemann.
Abercrombie will face Republican nominee Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in the November campaign to succeed GOP Governor Linda Lingle in President Barack Obama's birth state.
Lingle could not run again because of term limits. Abercrombie likely will have to appeal to the state's moderate Democrats, who backed Hannemann, while Aiona will have to demonstrate he can win in what is still a strongly Democratic state.