Hirono defeats Lingle in Senate race
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With a 107,000 votes lead, Democrat Mazie Hirono defeated Republican Linda Lingle for the U.S. Senate seat.
Lingle conceded the race after the second print out. She ended up receiving 36.6 percent of the ballots cast, or 159,071 votes.
Hirono earned 61.7 percent of the vote, or 266,580 votes, in the latest print out, which represents most of the absentee voters and walk-in ballots and about half of today's vote.
"Nobody likes to come up short in an election like this. But we can hold our heads high," Lingle told her campaign supporters tonight.
The Hawaii Senate race has potential impact on who controls Congress. Democrats tonight retained their hold on the Senate while Republicans managed to hold a majority in the House.
The race is also one of the most expensive in Hawaii history.
Both candidates raised a combined $10.7 million, while outside spending from Mainland Super PACs such those run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce added another $2 million.
Hirono's big lead follows the big local voter turnout for President Barack Obama, who was re-elected tonight.
"The fact that the president is very popular here and yes, he is keiki o ka aina, that means a lot," Hirono said Monday.
"And I also believe that he truly does represent the kind of priorities for jobs and protecting social security and Medicare, all the kinds of issues I've focused on."
Hirono's big lead comes after a Hawaii News Now/Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll in October found the Democrat had a 22-point lead over Lingle.
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