BY JOHN WILLOUGHBY – Last Saturday, the People of Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District spoke and chose me over Ramsay Wharton as the candidate best qualified to challenge Incumbent Mazie Hirono in the 2010 General Election. It was a very competitive and spirited race, yet the highest levels of professionalism and decorum were maintained throughout.

For that, Ms. Wharton has my deepest respect and admiration. I now humbly accept Ramsay’s gracious concession and welcome her unselfish endorsement. I also echo her urgent plea that her loyal friends now lend their support to our campaign with hopes of achieving the ultimate goal of unseating Mrs. Hirono in November.

The margin of victory was razor thin. It was obvious late into election night that the results could have gone either way. I am grateful that those who voted did so based on our views on substantive issues important to Hawaii families and didn’t rely solely on name recognition (or what would have been worse for me, personal charm and beauty – I’m sure all would agree that I wouldn’t have stood a chance!) But the number of voters who left their choice for a Congressional Representative blank troubles me. That clearly shows we have a long way to go.

For the past two years, we have continually talked about the lack of progress that’s been made on our economy and other major issues. Our incumbent Representative has not only failed to get the job done, she has made things much, much worse. Not only does Mrs. Hirono display a basic lack of understanding of how our economy works and why, but she doesn’t have the first clue about what will lead Hawaii out of the ditch she, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi put us in.

For example, I want to relieve the tax burden on Hawaii families and small businesses, while Mrs. Hirono has already committed to drastically raising your taxes this coming January. I want to stop the incessant and reckless government spending that jeopardizes our children and grandchildren’s future, yet Mrs. Hirono advocates more ill-conceived, ill-advised, and ill-fated and costly deficit bailout schemes. And I want to create jobs for our high number of unemployed and underemployed workers, but Mrs. Hirono wants to continue making Hawaii families more and more dependent on government handouts.

But let me make one thing perfectly clear – you, the people of Hawaii will have a very definite choice in November. You will have a choice between a higher taxes, and lower taxes. You will have a choice between more government intrusion into your lives, and less. You will have a choice between a Representative on the one hand who operates with blatant disregard, indignation, and reckless abandon, acting as if she is accountable only to her irksome Congressional leadership, her wealthy campaign contributors, and her lobbyists and special interest groups, and a Representative on the other hand who will be accountable only to you, the people.

These can be exciting times for us here in Hawaii. By sending two Republican Representatives to Congress, we can and will be leading, inspiring, and empowering change on the Mainland, and not the other way around. I believe the people of Hawaii’s 2nd District are ready for a new representative – a true representative of the people who will work tirelessly every day to ensure Washington knows that Hawaii’s hopes and dreams, her values and principles, and her virtuous desires are finally represented in Congress. The people of Hawaii have a voice. I humbly and respectfully ask to be your voice in United States Congress.

John Willoughby, 51, is a Candidate for Hawaii’s 2nd U.S. Congressional District. He is a retired U.S. Navy Officer and is currently employed as a Commercial Airline Pilot with United Airlines. He and his wife Yong Hui have been married 20 years. They live on Oahu with their two sons Josh and Jeremy and their adopted daughter Su Jin is grown and lives on the Mainland. Visit his website at www.johnforhawaii.com for more information.

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