Takai raises 4 times as much money as Djou in recent weeks - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Takai raises 4 times as much money as Djou in recent weeks

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The two leading candidates in the neck-and-neck race for urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional seat are targeting their expected supporters, hoping to get them to the polls as turnout is expected to be low on Election Day Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Democrat Mark Takai has ramped up fundraising and raised about 50 percent more than his Republican opponent, Charles Djou.

Takai worked the phones at joint Democratic headquarters at Ward Warehouse Monday afternoon, where phone bank volunteers were calling likely Democratic voters. It is one of four phone banks Democrats are operating on Oahu.

"We're going to win because we're going to get more voters out that support us," said Takai, a longtime state representative who beat seven other Democrats to win the August primary.

Democratic volunteers will go door-to-door Tuesday with flyers, urging people to vote for their party's candidates.

"We're making sure that the voters that we've already ID'd as Takai supporters are coming out. We're calling them, we're even making available transportation for people that need it, to go to the polls," Takai said.

Djou and his wife Stacey met potential voters along Kekaulike Mall in Chinatown Monday afternoon, asking them for their votes while volunteers handed out campaign literature.

Djou's campaign is also targeting his likely voters.

"We're doing everything that we possibly can do. If somebody needs a ride, we'll drive them. If we run out of drivers, I'll drive them myself personally to the polls. We're working with the party, we're working with all the campaigns here, we have a great energized volunteer group," said Djou, who represented the district in Congress for ten months and previously served on the Honolulu City Council

At Djou's Kalihi headquarters, volunteers worked the phone bank Monday afternoon.

"Please remind your family and friends to vote for Charles Djou. Mahalo for your support," said one volunteer, as she left a phone message.

Takai has significantly out raised Djou, bringing in at least $1.6 million and spending $1.2 as of the middle of October.

Djou reported raising $998,719 and spending $534,351 of that through the middle of last month.

But in the last few weeks, Takai has raised more than four times as much money as Djou. Takai brought in $293,500 since Oct. 15, compared to Djou's $67,719, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Takai said he needed to raise more money to counter more than $300,000 worth of TV ads and mailers by Washington, D.C. political action committees against him.

"We actually raised enough money to stay competitive on TV. In fact in the last few days, I believe we even have more TV than our opponent," Takai said.

Takai had to spent heavily to win the crowded Democratic primary, while Djou did not, since he didn't have a primary battle.

"I really want to encourage everybody to get out there and vote,” Djou told reporters Monday afternoon. “Vote for change, vote for a new government."

"This is the first election in decades where we haven't had Daniel Inouye as part of Hawaii's Congressional delegation,” Djou said. “It's more important than ever that we have a bi-partisan Congressional delegation. We have somebody who can speak to the new Republican majority in the Congress and I'm looking forward to doing just that."

Both candidates admitted they are a bit tired from long days that start before the sun comes up as they sign wave in morning traffic. But the campaign ends Tuesday, and lower-than-usual turnout could help Takai, since lower turnout often benefits Democrats in Hawaii, because their voters – such as union members -- are more disciplined voters compared to Independents and Republicans.

A recent Hawaii News Now-Honolulu Star-Advertiser found Djou and Takai tied at 47 percent, with about six percent of the poll respondents undecided or refusing to answer. Other polls have had similar too-close-to-call results in the Congressional race. The two men are running to replace Colleen Hanabusa in Congress after she ran unsuccessfully in the primary against U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz for the Democratic nomination for one of Hawaii's Senate seats.

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