Democrats Gear Up for General Election, Nov 6th

Aug 13, 2018

Democratic candidates who won their Primary Election races gathered for a photo session at their Unity Breakfast, Sunday.
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

The Democratic Party had its Unity Breakfast yesterday following hard-fought Primary Election races for the state’s top two jobs.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

The Democratic Party candidates -- winners and losers -- joined hands at their Unity Breakfast to sing Hawai’i Aloha. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, who lost her Primary Election bid for governor, thanked the party for enabling her to have an awesome 20-year political career.  She also asked her colleagues to help pay it forward. 

“Think of ways to encourage women, especially those are here today and were not successful to pick yourselves up, keep going, because that’s what we’re about.”

Governor David Ige, who won the primary by close to 17-thousand votes, says he will take a few days off to regroup.  He said the attack ads aimed at him from independent political action committees galvanized his team’s resolve.

Governor David Ige

“I’ve always believed it adds an edge to the campaign to run from behind.  It really energizes people and we have a strong grassroots network of supporters and they’re looking forward to November and, you know, as soon as we can lay out a plan, I know that we will be successful.”

But, the Governor lost to Congresswoman Hanabusa on the Big Island by 152 votes. State Senator, Dr. Josh Green, on the other hand, received more than 19-thousand votes in that county in the lieutenant governor’s race, more than his 4 challengers combined.  He also received more than one million dollars-worth of advertising from super PAC “Be change now.”    But, he says, the ads were not malicious in any way.

(L-R) Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Lieutenant Governor candidate Josh Green, Governor David Ige and U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono sang "Hawai'i Aloha" at the Democratic Party's Unity Breakfast, Sunday.
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

“I stayed totally positive and in my race, not a ‘peep’ of negativity was said about any of my opponents from whatever the super PACs were, whatever.  But I’m cognizant of what people think about this. It’s a double-edged sword.  I still respect the carpenters, the teacher’s union that did a super PAC for one of my opponents.  People are doing those things but, honestly, it was all about all of us fighting it out in the trenches and I was just fortunate to come out with a couple of votes extra.”

Former Governor Neal Abercrombie is celebrating 58 years since he first voted in Hawai’i.  He says limiting political action committee spending is not likely because of the current president’s Supreme Court appointments.  But, he says, PAC money support is not really a positive thing.

Former Governor Neal Abercrombie chats with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell at the Unity Breakfast
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

“I been the beneficiary of political action committees when I was up against odds, too. And, I’ve been on the receiving end of political action committees.  So, what happens is, the candidates are the victims in all of this.  They’re not necessarily the beneficiaries.”

The general election on November 6th is 85 days away.  Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.