Candidates keep pushing for votes on election day

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There was no letting up for Hawaii's major candidates on election day.

It was a festive ride to the finish line for supporters of the Abercrombie-Schatz team. Getting his election day boost from an acai bowl, Brian Schatz, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, got on board a trolley and visited various spots on Oahu.

"How much fun is it riding on that trolley?" this reporter asked.

"It's a lot of fun," Schatz replied. "My wife took the day off, so we've been getting a little bit of quality time and enjoying each other's company and being energized by the people who are supporting us."

The trolley stopped at the Nuuanu YMCA to pick up Schatz's running mate, Neil Abercrombie, who squeezed in an election day workout. This final push on wheels has become an Abercrombie tradition.

"It's all about the grassroots now," the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful said. "It's all about everybody letting loose on the last day from all of the work that's been done."

Their Republican opponents were indoors for a good portion of the day, working the phones. Gubernatorial hopeful Duke Aiona says personally reaching out to voters on game day can make a huge difference.

"Today, we turned around someone who was going to vote for our opponent," Aiona said. "Because we were there to answer their questions and spend the time to speak with them, they said, eh, you got us and all our friends."

Aiona's running mate, Lynn Finnegan, likened this final-day effort to crossing the finish line of a race.

"Do you stop and walk through the tape? No, you have to go hit strong and make sure that you go fly right through that tape, make sure that you win this one and do everything that you could have absolutely done," the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor said.

Also spending time at the GOP phone bank was 1st Congressional District candidate Charles Djou. He says making sure his supporters actually go to the polls and vote is crucial in a hotly-contested race.

"This is a part of campaigning I've done in every election cycle," Djou said. "Although this one, with the stakes so high and the race so close, I think it adds a little bit extra importance."

Djou's Democratic challenger, Colleen Hanabusa, returned to her alma mater, St. Andrew's Priory. The 1969 graduate of the all-girls school spoke to a government class on this election day.

"If there's any group who should recognize the importance of the vote and the importance of what it takes for equality to prevail, it's here," Hanabusa said.

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