Nov 8, 2006 12:49 AM
by Diane Ako
IWILEI (KHNL)- Governor Linda Lingle easily defeated her opponent last night with a steady 61% lead through the first two printouts. It's something the staff say they expected, but are nontheless grateful for. The governor makes state history again, this time by becoming the first Republican governor re-elected to a second term. Lingle also made history in 2002 when she was elected. She became the state's first female governor.
Standing on stage with local musicians Na Leo Pilimehana, Governor Linda Lingle belts out a tune. "I'm just along for the ride. There's no need for me to drive." Except these lyrics couldn't be further from the truth- she's the one driving this bus, elected to another 4 years in office.
After the song, she thanks supporters. "It's been a great race. We ran a positive upbeat campaign." Hundreds packed her campaign headquarters Tuesday night for what they expected to be- and got: a quick victory.
Former union leader and Unity House Inc. President Tony Rutledge is one of many supporters. He sums up why he voted Lingle. "She's proven she's more than capable of moving Hawaii forward, and taking care of the problems we have. She was lucky the economy was good, but she also knows how to spend the money the right way."
She gets to enjoy this night with a little mingling and some celebrity treatment, before it's back to work tomorrow. Lingle says her priorities for this term are "to keep the economy strong so we have the resources we need to deal with the most important issues in our state which are affordable housing, bringing down the cost of living through tax deductions, and making sure the money we're spending on education is actually reaching the classroom."