HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa said on Tuesday that she would not challenge the results of the Democratic primary election.
"Though I will not be challenging the results of this election, I remain very concerned about the public's confidence and trust in our election process. I ask former colleagues and friends in the Hawaii State Legislature to explore what is necessary to ensure the people that their vote truly counts," said Hanabusa.
Hanabusa lost to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz by 1,769 votes, one of the closest races in Hawaii history.
"I heard from many who feel strongly that they were disenfranchised from the voting process this election and I stand ready to support any collaborative effort to have those voices heard," said Hanabusa.
The primary outcome was delayed for nearly a week because the State Office of Elections held a special election for voters in Puna who could not vote because Tropical Storm Iselle.
There were several setbacks during the special election, which was held Friday in Puna. Some voters were turned away because they didn't live in the precincts that were allowed to vote in the special election. To add to the confusion, election officials also discovered 800 uncounted ballots on Maui. Those ballots were included in the final vote tally.
In a written statement Hanabusa thanked her supporters and says she is heading back to work.
"It is time for me to finish my work in the Congress and reflect on the last 16 years of my life in public office. I always wanted to give back and make things better for the people of Hawaii by creating opportunities for the next generation to thrive. I can move on from this election knowing I listened to the people and fought hard for the right to represent them, honorably."
Senator Schatz released the following statement Tuesday evening:
"I want to congratulate Congresswoman Hanabusa on waging a spirited and tough battle. Now it is time for us to unite as we move forward to the general election. I thank the voters for placing their trust and confidence in me. I will never lose sight of the fact that I am only able to do my work representing the people of Hawaii because of the voters' support."