Parties court voters for Governor's race

Dylan Nonaka
Dylan Nonaka

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Neil Abercrombie nearly swept voter precincts across the state, claiming 47 of 51 districts in Saturday's primary against Mufi Hannemann.

Democratic leaders said the resounding win is now recent history and no reason to let up.

"We are not going to sit on our hands and just wait for providence to take over," Democratic party chairman Dante Carpenter said.

Abercrombie will face Republican Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona in the general election. He also dominated his race on Saturday and has past statewide success to fall back on.

"I think it's important to remember that in 2006 the governor and lieutenant governor won every single House district in the state. Even though Abercrombie had a resounding win on Saturday, they also did in 2006," Republican Party executive director Dylan Nonaka said.

As for voter turnout, 43 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the primary. But 391,000 registered voters did not vote -- a huge pool that both parties will go after.

Some say a high turnout in the general favors GOP candidates.

"I guarantee you that we do not believe in that philosophy. We are going to get every vote we possibly can," Carpenter said.

"That's always a big effort, a huge investment in voter identification and voter turnout," Nonaka said. "We did that in 2006 with the governor's race. We did that in May with Charles Djou's race and we're going to do that again in November."

Democrats said Abercrombie's landslide win energized the party.

"The Democratic party is more committed than ever to regain the fifth floor," Carpenter said.

Republican's said Aiona is ready so bring it on.

"They've proven that every area in the entire state will vote Republican if given the right message and the right candidate," Nonaka said.

A lot will be said over the next six weeks now that the race for governor is more clearly defined.

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