With election days away, ad spending on mayor's race heats up

With election days away, ad spending on mayor's race heats up
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than $1 million has been spent on ads for the Honolulu mayor's race during the past six weeks. And most of that money is going to support one candidate.

State Campaign Spending Commission records show that union political action committee Workers for a Better Hawaii spent nearly $750,000 in ads that endorse Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Caldwell's own campaign has spent $369,000, while Djou's campaign has spent about $160,000.

"They're both going to be spending the rest of their money. You're going to see their allied PACs spending money. This is their last chance to make the case," said University of Hawaii political science Professor Colin Moore.

Caldwell campaign chairman Lex Smith said the mayor has supported organized labor "and his records stands for itself on that."

Djou, meanwhile, said money won't decide the race. He said the outside ads distract voters from the real issues, such as rail cost overruns and the growing homeless population.

"I condemn all of these ads. All of these third-party ads, whether they're for me or against me are unhelpful," Djou said.

The ad spending figures do not include candidate's or a PAC's spending on rent, utilities, salaries postage and other administrative costs. All PACs and candidates are required to file more complete financial disclosures by midnight Monday.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, only Djou's campaign had filed this disclosure. It said it had raised more than $263,000 since the August primary and spent $339,000.

The Djou campaign said it had a surplus of about $67,000.

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