Lingle says general election presents voters with 'clear choice'

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Linda Lingle said the race for the U.S. Senate presents a clear choice to voters between "an independent leader experienced in making tough decisions and getting things done for the people of Hawaii, or an extremely partisan Washington insider with no record of accomplishments, who believes this election is about President Obama and difficult childhoods."

Lingle made the remark at a Sunday morning press conference. The Republican former governor faces Democrat Mazie Hirono in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Daniel Akaka.

At their unity breakfast earlier Sunday, Democrats criticized Lingle for saying that Hawaii voters could cast a ballot both for her and Democratic President Barack Obama. "There is nothing contradictory in people voting for President Obama in the presidential race and also voting for me, because President Obama, if he wins re-election, can only serve for four more years. This decision in the United States senate race, is for the next generation," she said.

Lingle said that the continued controversy over the city of Honolulu's rail transit project could help bring people to the polls in November. Lingle reiterated her opposition and said, "I think that the proposed rail, as it is configured today, is bad for Hawaii. We can't afford it. It's not something that fits with Hawaii."

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