BY ED CASE – With Linda Lingle entering the Senate contest, Hawai‘i’s voters have a very clear choice among very different candidates in the most important election in a generation. Let’s start the debate right now.

Hawai‘i needs a Senator who will apply our values to the changes needed in Washington. Hawai‘i’s values – my values – are best represented by Democrats. Linda wants to go to Washington and join extreme Republicans with much different values. They think we can slash our way to a better economy and more jobs. They think we can skimp on education and expect our children to succeed. They think we can welch on our promises to veterans and seniors.

Hawai‘i needs a Senator who understands the problems facing business. I’ve worked in Hawai‘i’s private sector for thirty years, advising and managing businesses, balancing budgets, and creating jobs. Linda has virtually no business experience.

Hawai‘i needs a Senator who gets things done. As Governor, Linda’s idea of problem solving was to shut down schools and much of state government on Furlough Fridays.

Hawai‘i needs a Senator who listens. As Hawai‘i’s Congressman, I held 172 open talk story community meetings across Hawai‘i to listen to folks and share my thoughts. As Governor, Linda communicated one way only through carefully staged press conferences and appearances.

Hawai‘i needs a Senator who will reject partisan politics and do whatever it takes to meet our challenges. While she was still governor, Linda was AWOL on the mainland during crucial times for Hawai‘i campaigning for Sarah Palin against President Obama.

If nominated, I will ask Linda to travel with me throughout Hawai‘i to discuss our values side-by-side where voters live, work and play. Only then will people know who can best find that better way forward for Hawai‘i and for our country in Washington.

Congressman Ed Case (D-HI, 2002-2007) is a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012