By : Stephen Florino
(KHNL) - After tough campaigns, leaders for Hawaii's political parties wanted to re-unite their members, as they start their push into November.
Democrats and Republicans started with rallies Sunday. Both re excited as they gear up for runs to the general election. But for Hawaii's Democrats, it was also time to heal.
"This will strengthen us," said Sen. Dan Akaka. "No question about it."
"The party, as you can see here, is unified," said Sen. Dan Inouye. "We're together. A family. Ohana."
However, one member of that ohana, Rep. Ed Case, was not at the unity rally. He previously committed to attend a ceremony at Punchbowl, and said he didn't want to spoil the party.
Case wasn't sure if the party could move forward after a tough campaign. Case lost the primary for Akaka's seat in the U.S. Senate.
"There's clearly a division in the party as to what change is necessary," said Case. "I put forward some of my thoughts on change, and at some point, you gotta figure you've done what you can do, and the people gotta take it from there."
Hawaii's Republicans also rallied for a post-election celebration. There was also food and fun there, but it was clear they have November on their mind.
"Voters will have a real clear choice in the governor's race," said Gov. Linda Lingle. "They can vote for Lingle Aiona, and keep hawaii moving forward, or they can vote for our opponents, and move backwards, to the way things were before."
"We have to go out there and continue our hard work," said Bob Hogue, the GOP's candidate for U.S. Congress. "That's reaching the voters in the 2nd congressional district, and also obviously raising more money."
Both Democrats and Republicans say they're concentrating on grassroots campaigning.