DC political groups spend more than $3M on gov's race

DC political groups spend more than $3M on gov's race

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Washington, D.C.-based Republican and Democratic governors associations have spent more than $3 million trying to affect the outcome of Hawaii's governor's race this year, in one case spending more than the candidate's own campaign.

Democrat David Ige, a state senator, has out raised his Republican rival, former Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona, by nearly $570,000.

Ige reported raising $1.9 million in the campaign so far, $1.2 million of that since his overwhelming primary victory over Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Aug. 9. Ige's campaign has spent $1.4 million and had $509,013 in cash on hand as of Oct. 20.

Aiona reported raising $1.3 million in the governor's campaign so far and spending $1.2 million of that.Aiona reported having $146,440 cash remaining as of last Monday. The figures cover the period from Aug. 10, immediately after the primary, to Oct. 20.

The Republican Governors Association -- which has been running TV ads against Ige -- has outspent Aiona's entire campaign, shelling out $1.8 million on television and radio ads, mailers and polling.

Hawaii Forward, the Hawaii arm of the Democratic Governors Association, reported spending $1.4 million on television and radio ads, mailers and polls, trying to get Ige elected and criticizing Aiona.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the independent candidate for governor, reported raising $334,646 in the race so far, and spending $234,713 of that.  Hannemann reported $90,933 cash remaining as of last Monday.

The Aiona campaign this year was unable to match the amount of money he raised and spent in 2010, the last time he ran for governor. Four years ago, his campaign had raised $3.6 million and spent nearly $3.5 million by this same period shortly before the general election.

Ige and Hannemann have agreed to stay below $1.5 million spending limits in their campaigns, the first time in 16 years that a governor candidate has agreed to that limit. Republican Linda Lingle was the last candidate to agree to the limits in 1998.

Monday, Ige's campaign said it had raised $100,000 in qualifying contributions of $100 or less to be eligible for at least $100,000 in matching funds from the state. The matching funds come from the Hawaii Election Campaign fund, which allows taxpayers to check off the $3 box on their tax returns to earmark money to that fund each year.

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