Mayor Kirk Caldwell (left), Charles Djou (right) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Colin Moore (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
While Mayor Kirk Caldwell received more votes in last month's primary, Charles Djou raked in more money.
Filings with the state Campaign Spending Commission show Caldwell's campaign received $57,000 in contributions in the two weeks before the Aug. 13th election. In that same period, Djou's campaign received nearly three-times as much: $167,000.
"It does demonstrate that it's a very competitive race. You have to remember for the most part, it's harder for Djou to raise money than it is for Caldwell. He doesn't attract many of the natural supporters: firms involved in rail, the core union supporters and government employees," said University of Hawaii Political Science Professor Colin Moore.
Meanwhile, Caldwell outspent Djou during the same period, largely on political ads. Those ads may have helped the mayor eek out a 1,500 hundred vote win in the primary, even though Djou was leading in most polls. (Neither candidate received 50 percent plus one vote, so they're headed to a run off in the general election on Nov.8.)
Since the election, Djou has changed several of his positions on the top issue this election: rail. A longtime rail critic, he now acknowledges the federal requirement that the system must be built to Ala Moana Center and says the city might have to raise rail taxes.
"We're going to have to build this rail system and we're going to have to build it out to Ala Moana because the alternative is to return billions of dollars that our community simply does not have," Djou said last week.
The question is, will Djou's backers back off now that's he's sounding more like Caldwell?
"Djou got a lot of criticism for what people have been calling his flip-flop on rail for supporting it now going all the way to Ala Moana," said Moore.
The general election is now just nine weeks away and both candidate will have to raise significant funds to win. Djou has $146,000 left in the bank, while Caldwell has more than three times as much left.