Analysts: Djou win would boost Hawaii GOP - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Analysts: Djou win would boost Hawaii GOP

Challenger Charles Djou (Image: Hawaii News Now) Challenger Charles Djou (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Former Congressman Charles Djou's mayoral campaign offers Hawaii Republicans their best chance in decades of capturing the top office in Honolulu Hale.

And even though it's a nonpartisan race and Djou has repeated said his campaign isn't about partisan politics, political analysts say that a Djou victory could re-invigorate the Hawaii GOP, which has fallen on tough times.

"There's definitely patronage positions in City Hall that can turn into jobs that you can give to Republicans. It's a rule of politics, you give the boys jobs," said political analyst Dan Boylan.

The person who wins the mayors race will control more than 100 patronage jobs and many of those people could wind up working not just for the mayor but for other political candidates.

"That gives him a strength in either building up a personal political machine or to buoy up the Republicans. But again I repeat that needs a lot of buoying up," said Boylan.

In Saturday's primary, only 43,000 voters chose the Republican ballot. That compared to more than 200,000 who voted on the Democrat side.

Republicans have just seven members in the state house and one in the Senate, Sam Slom, who faces a tough race against former city Councilmember Stanley Chang.

"If Charles wins -- when Charles win -- I think it will be a boon for the city and county and from my standpoint if people see that they will gravitate towards the party," said Slom.

In Saturday's primary, Djou trailed Caldwell by 1,500 votes in Saturday's primary, with former Mayor Peter Carlisle in a distant third place.

Over the next three months, experts expect both campaigns to fight hard to attract many of Carlisle's supporters.

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