BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – Actor Daniel Day Kim plays Chin Ho Kelly on the blockbuster remake of Hawaii 5-0, but the former Pennsylvania native turned Hawaii resident, has another role in the islands – advocating for the Democratic Party this election.
Kim is featured in a new Hawaii Democratic Party radio advertisement, explaining the issue he cares about, encouraging people to vote and sharing his political philosophy and affiliation.
Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidate Brian Schatz, whose campaign is not affiliated with the ad, says he was pleased with the endorsement of his party because “Daniel is admired by a lot of local people.” He says “Daniel is a great supporter, because of how much respect people have for him, not just on TV, but the recognition that he is a good person who cares about Hawaii. … and Daniel recognizes that the values that he holds dear are best represented by the Democratic Party.”
Schatz first met Kim at the Democratic Party convention in Denver in 2008 and says he was impressed by how down to earth Kim is.
How much influence does a celebrity have on elections? While Schatz, and his running mate, Gubernatorial Candidate Neil Abercrombie, want everyone to endorse their campaign, Schatz says “the truth is voters will make up their own mind.”
Kim isn’t the only well known figure to get involved in Hawaii elections this year.
President Barack Obama is endorsing the Abercrombie/Schatz ticket in this commercial launched today
Obama’s father and Abercrombie were friends and Obama has known Abercrombie since his childhood days in Hawaii.
Colleen Hanabusa, the current Senate president, who is running for Congress District 1 against incumbent Congressman Charles Djou, D-1, HI, also benefited from Obama’s endorsement in the form of “robocalls” going to Hawaii households.
Both the gubernatorial and congressional races are close, according to a series of recent polls.
Democrats are not the only ones getting national celebrity endorsements. Sarah Palin, former GOP Alaska Governor and 2010 candidate for Vice President, endorsed two Hawaii candidates. That includes John Willoughby in his race against Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-2, HI and Scott Henderson, a retired FBI agent, who is running against incumbent Democrat Cindy Evans for state House District 7 on the Big Island.
Willoughby and Henderson are favored tea party candidates. Hawaii Reporter livestreamed the endorsement. See it in full here
In addition, Willoughby was recently featured on the Dennis Prager show and he was endorsed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Pennsylvania Republican Congressmen Bill Shuster and Jim Gerlach.