Democrats, Republicans unite to strengthen parties into general election

Democratic, Republican unity events aim to strengthen parties after primary election

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a long night of watching the election results come in, winning and losing candidates gathered with their parties Saturday morning to regroup and refocus at unity events statewide.

These post-primary unity events are about accepting the people's vote and moving forward together as a party. It's also a chance to rally behind those who were chosen to run in November's general election.

The closest major race on primary election night went to State Sen. Josh Green.

"To get to take on this role as lieutenant governor, if we prevail in November, and to be of service on homeless issues — it really is so gratifying and that's what I felt last night," Green said.

He says he was able to speak to his friend and former colleague in the Senate, Jill Tokuda, to congratulate her on a hard-fought campaign.

"We welcome all of her supporters. It really gets made to look personal in the press a little bit. Honestly she and I didn't fight once during the whole campaign," Green added.

His other opponents like Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho accepted the outcome and rallied behind their party's decision.

"It was my hope that the style of leadership that I have to offer would have brought us in to the lieutenant governor's office, but apparently not. So, I look forward to supporting whoever is our next governor and lieutenant governor and move forward," Carvalho said.

At a much more intimate gathering over at Kapiolani park, several people gathered to celebrate all republican candidates in primary races.

"It's important for us to show that anyone who sacrificed deserves to have some support. Some congratulations no matter if you won or lost," said Andria Tupola who won the primary election as the Republican Gubernatorial candidate.

"You put yourself out there and that's what public service is all about," Tupola says she's ready to face David Ige in November and hopes party leaders can work to unify GOP support for her campaign.

The odds of defeating Ige in November are slim, but republicans say they're ready for that challenge.

Chair of the Hawaii Republican Party, Shirlene Ostrov, says they're also working to build excitement in smaller races and welcome new, young voters to their party.

"It's always exciting when we can have three republicans running for governor which in Hawaii, is a feat in and of itself. So we are excited about the direction that the Hawaii Republican Party is going," Ostrovn said.

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