Candidates hit campaign trail hard in the last days before election

Tammy Duckworth
Tammy Duckworth

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Candidates for both parties hit the campaign trail hard on Saturday, with Democrats rallying in Central Oahu, and the GOP's gubernatorial hopeful traveling the island by bus.

Dozens of Democratic candidates and their supporters rallied at Mililani High School to get out the vote. Gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie was upbeat.

"We're building excitement," Abercrombie said. "We're coming to the conclusion of a hard campaign, but a campaign that's taken a high road, and people have responded to it because they know we've got a positive message of embracing change."

His Republican opponent, James "Duke" Aiona, was on the road as part of a bus tour called the "Duke and Lynn Express." The buses stopped in Kalihi long enough for Aiona to do some sign waving along Likelike Highway with running mate Lynn Finnegan. Aiona also felt positive in the last days before election day.

"A lotta honks, a lotta waves," said Aiona after sign waving. "A lot of people giving back that same energy that we're giving out today, so we feel good about the campaign right now coming into the last few days."

Back in Mililani, the Democratic Party event attracted Tammy Duckworth, the McKinley High School graduate who lost both her legs as an Army helicopter pilot in the Iraq war. She is now an Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

"We worked really hard on the G.I. Bill with Congressman Abercrombie, and this state is important to the rest of the country," said Duckworth, "and I've gotta go out there to do what I can to support Colleen (Hanabusa) and Neil and everybody here."

Aiona kept on message, hitting Abercrombie hard about fiscal responsibility

"It's all about the issues," Aiona said, "and I've always said from day one that Neil Abercrombie doesn't have the fiscal plan, that he's not a fiscal conservative, that he's not fiscally responsible. In other words, he will not spend within his means, and this is what we need right now."

Ultimately, both camps are working to get people to cast ballots on Tuesday.

When asked how he'll do that, Abercrombie said, "retail. Everything is retail. Person to person, family to family, everybody reaching out to everybody else that they know and get them to vote."

Aiona also has several more events planned. "Coffee hours, what we call our 'connected communities' events, getting out to rallies, even sign waving and touching people, walking the malls, walking businesses," Aiona said. "We've been doing all of that and we will continue to do that."

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