Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

BY JIM DOOLEY – The four top candidates for Hawaii’s two congressional seats in

Tulsi Gabbard

this year’s election are in financial dead heats as the campaigns turn for home in the primary election, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Relative newcomer Tulsi Gabbard, a Honolulu City Council member running in the 2nd Congressional District, showed surprising financial strength as she out-raised former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, $307,000 to $252,000, from April through June.

Hannemann outspent Gabbard by about $140,000 but both candidates finished June with just over $500,000 in cash reserves, according to

Mufi Hannemann

figures filed with the FEC over the weekend.

The other two candidates in the 2nd Congressional Democratic Primary Election race, Esther Kiaaina and Bob Marx, raised only $21,000 and  $49,000, respectively.

The Kiaaina campaign finished June with $5,200 in the bank and Marx reported an $800 deficit.

In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Democratic Rep. Colleeen  Hanabusa and Republican challenger Charles Djou are unopposed in the primary and are marshaling their financial resources for the general election.

Each reported $500,000 cash balances at the end of June.

Hanabusa received $187,000 in donations from April through June, while Djou’s campaign said it received $139,000.

Hanabusa spent $107,000 during the period and Djou just under $22,000.

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com