Hawai’i Public Radio hosted a Congressional District One Candidate Forum Sunday Night and asked a political analyst to evaluate the race.
Former U.S. Congressman Ed Case leads the pack in the Congressional District One Primary Election Race. That, according to the latest July Hawai’i Poll. Political analyst and newspaper columnist, Dan Boylan, agrees, but says he’s been blasted for bringing up ethnic politics.
“I think Ed Case is in a terrific position and I’ve been criticized for pointing this out. He got into it at the last moment because he looked at the field and he said to himself, ‘I can win this.’ And one of the reasons he can say is he’s a Kama’aina Haole and there wasn’t a Haole in the race. And, he was a moderate Democrat. That draws Republicans who are going to be voting in this Primary because it’s the only game in town and many of them are going to be drawn to Ed Case.”
Boylan says Doug Chin has a chance to make up some ground but not too many voters know him. During HPR’s Congressional District One Forum, Ed Case, pressed Lieutenant Governor Chin.
“I’m gonna use my 30 seconds to ask Doug the question that I wanted to ask, ‘Will you join me in agreeing to run a positive campaign and to not attack other CD Democrats in this race. Can you make that pledge today?’ (Chin) Yes I did and have been positive. (Case) Do you pledge not to attack the remainder of the campaign? (Chin) I’m not attacking. I’m just asking you questions about the facts that are in your record. (Case) Okay, yes? And I feel very comfortable with the fact that I’ve been very positive and I’m sorry that you’re using your time to talk about this.”
Boylan says Senator Donna Mercado Kim -- who’s been in elected office for 35 years -- cannot grow her support base because voters already have an opinion about her—good or bad. He says Representative Kaniela Ing, a progressive Berny Sanders candidate, is doing much better despite campaign spending issues. Ing went after front-runner Case during HPR’s forum.
(Ing) Mr. Case you got paid $1.6 million by a mainland hotel and you’re spending $150-thousand to – what seems like -- to try to buy this race.”
(Case) Let me tell you straight out, Kaniela. I just completely resent your entire line of questioning here because what you are basically saying, is that somebody that worked hard, all of his life, and was successful, including financially, is somehow disqualified from serving in Congress? ‘Cause that’s the point that you’re trying to make here and I resent that, you know?
Boylan says Honolulu City Council Chair, Ernie Martin and Representative Beth Fukumoto don’t have the name recognition of Ed Case. He says the field of Democratic candidates will be gunning for the front-runner, but, in his opinion, Case will win.
“His name recognition is just extraordinary. And it includes – I’ve gotten some criticism for talking ethnic politics – but it includes most of the good Haole districts. East Honolulu, one of the few places that’s okay to be a Republican. A Republican can win in Hawai’i Kai. A moderate Democrat can win in Hawai’i Kai. A lefty. No chance.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.