Precinct voting sites are due to open Saturday and the Democratic contenders for Governor are making their final push to the finish line.
Governor David Ige is sign-waving in Mililani Mauka. He says his re-election campaign was grass-roots, like it was in 2014.
“I’ve always felt that the more personal interactions that I can have with potential voters and supporters the more successful we’ll be. Really, the coffee hours and the smaller groups, 20-to-50 people, are probably the most effective. All elections are won by being able to touch as many voters as we can. And, we feel like that’s been an advantage that we have.”
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is sign-waving in Kaimuki. Her campaign was also grass-roots, with a few surprises.
“We were stunned on Hawai’i island, on the Hilo side, we had a group of 700 and even the organizers couldn’t believe it. Even on Kaua’i island, we had it at the Kaua’I Veterans Center, we had over 300 people show up there and we had one in East Honolulu, which was at Kalani High School, we had over 600 of them there.”
All the big candidate forums and debates are over but there’s always a chance for one last jab. Or not.
(Hanabusa) “You can’t do things in the 4thyear and then decide that you are doing things and you also can’t take credit for what other people did. I never thought David Ige was like that.”
(Ige) “We chose to stay high and not go low and not get into the negative campaigning. It’s just not my style. It’s not what my parents taught me. And I do believe that the voters have received the message.”
Now, in the final hours of their campaigns, both candidates admit they’re tired but are also inspired to go on.
“We’re committed to creating a better future for our children. That’s what gets me excited and able to continue to campaign even when you’re tired and you don’t want to do it anymore. It’s really the opportunity to being able to make a difference in the lives of our community.”
Hanabusa, meanwhile, is motivated by her loyal supporters…
“If I feel – oh my God, I gotta do this again. You know, then I snap out of it right away because I don’t have a right to feel that way. They have a right not to want to do it, but I don’t. As long as one of them is doing it, I gotta be there.”
But, there can only be one winner for the Democratic Party nomination for Governor after that final vote is cast August 11th.
(Ige) “I feel good. Lot’s of energy. You know, I think the campaign is going very well. We feel very good about the momentum and the response from the public has been overwhelming.”
(Hanabusa) “It feels really good. So, I feel very upbeat and very positive. I mean, it’s never easy to run against an incumbent but I feel we will win.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.