The race was on the radar of the national parties and political pundits, but many expected the seat to remain Democratic in a district that supported Obama by 72 percent.
Sensibilities changed in January after Republican Scott Brown flipped the seat formerly belonging to Democrat Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts.
Suddenly, national eyes were on Hawaii as the GOP went looking for the "next Scott Brown," and a chance to score an upset on Obama's home turf heading into the fall midterm elections.Hanabusa leads Case with nearly all the votes counted
By B.J. Reyes
POSTED: 04:40 p.m. HST, May 22, 2010
Republican Charles Djou emerged victorious tonight in the special election to fill Hawaii's vacancy in Congress, giving Hawaii it's first GOP member of Congress in 20 years.
Djou won the special mail-in election with 39.5 percent of the vote in the first printout, released at 6 p.m.
The first printout represented nearly all of the 170,312 returned by voters in the district, which stretches from Waikiki and downtown to Mililani.
Democrat Colleen Hanabusa was second at 30.8 percent, with Democrat Ed Case third at 27.6 percent.
“This is a momentous day,” Djou told a jubilant crowd at state party headquarters. “We have sent a message to the United States Congress. We have sent a message to the ex-governors. We have sent a message to the national Democrats! We have sent a message to the machine.
“We have told them that we will not stand idly by as our great nation is overburdened by too much taxes, too much debt and too much wasteful spending.”
Djou is Hawaii's first GOP member of Congress since Pat Saiki, who represented the party from 1987 to 1991.
Eleven other candidates combined to receive 2.1 percent of the vote.
Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie announced in December plans to resign his seat to concentrate solely on his campaign for governor, setting off a special election campaign unlike any in state history.
By the time he formally resigned Feb. 28, the field of three main contenders had formed and the Office of Elections -- after openly considering whether to postpone the vote until the September primary to save money -- settled on a mail-in process at the cost of about $1 million.
A Star-Bulletin/KITV poll in January gave Case, the former 2nd District congressman, the edge on name recognition and favorability, followed by Hanabusa, the state Senate president, and then Djou, a City Councilman.
READ FULL STORY at StarBulletin.com
Sunday, May 23, 2010
More great news for Republicans, this time from Hawaii! This is a huge victory. I was alerted to this story in a tweet from Matt Drudge. Judging by the sub-headline, "Hanabusa leads Case with nearly all the votes counted," it is apparent that the big race was between two Democrats as far as the newspaper was concerned. Which is okay, because it split the Democrat vote enough for Djou, the Republican, to win.