3 Democrats easily win Hawaii congressional races, heading to deeply divided Congress

First election results showed Tokuda received nearly 64% of the vote, with her opponent, Republican Joe Akana holding roughly 30%.
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 2:21 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2022 at 9:17 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s congressional delegation will feature a new face after Tuesday’s general election — as they all head back to Washington, D.C. for a deeply divided Congress.

Democrat Jill Tokuda has easily won the general election race for 2nd Congressional District, the seat being vacated by Kai Kahele.

First election results showed Tokuda received nearly 64% of the vote, with her opponent, Republican Joe Akana holding roughly 30%.

On Tuesday, control of Congress was on the line ― and inflation, crime and abortion are on the ballot.

“We’re going into a very divided time, a divided country, a divided Congress,” Tokuda said, in a speech Tuesday night.

“If you ask me, now more than ever, this nation, this Congress needs Hawaii. Hawaii is all about the aloha spirit. It’s all about making sure that people, that end of the day, no matter what side of the aisle they’re on, treat each other with respect, civility, but most importantly, they remember it’s always about the people.”

Tokuda clinched the Democratic primary win back in August, beating her opponent Patrick Branco by a wide margin.

Kai Kahele is vacating the seat after he made the surprise decision not to run for reelection and instead launch his campaign for governor after spending less than two years in Washington, which ultimately proved unsuccessful.

Dems, GOP make urgent final pitches as election season wraps

Tokuda — who previously served in the state Senate from 2006 to 2018 — had initially entered the crowded race for lieutenant governor but made the switch to run for Congress after Kahele made his announcement.

Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District covers rural parts of Oahu — including Windward Oahu and the North Shore — as well as the neighbor islands.

Meanwhile, two members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation easily walked to reelection, returning to a very different Congress.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, who sought another six-year term, received about 73% of the votes, beating longtime state Rep. Bob McDermott, a Republican.

McDermott previously said one of the main reasons for running was that he wanted a complete shutdown of the military’s Red Hill facility within a year and that the current congressional delegation was “satisfied” that the Navy was complying with the state Department of Health’s order to suspend operations and drain the tanks.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, also won reelection for the 1st Congressional District, which represents urban Honolulu.

Case secured about 74% of the vote. His opponent, Republican Conrad Kress, received 22%.

Case is no stranger to Capitol Hill. He previously served as a U.S. representative for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2002 to 2007. He’s also remembered for his unsuccessful attempt to seat then-Sen. Daniel Akaka in 2006.

He reentered the political sphere when he was elected to the 1st Congressional district in 2018.

This story will be updated.