Congressman Ed Case, D-Hawaii (2002-2007) and Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, will come together for a televised debate on Thursday, July 26 between 6:30 pm and 8 pm on KHNL, KGMB and KFVE., Hawaii News Now announced today.
Despite invitations from KHON TV 2 News and KITV News, this is the only statewide network television debate that Hirono has agreed to. Both she and Case hope to replaces U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka after he retires later this year.
Case has criticized Hirono for “hiding behind her handlers.” She originally agreed to participate in five forums and turned down all statewide network television requests along with invitations from several business and community organizations.
Rick Blangiardi, general manager of Hawaii News Now, said: “This is a testimony to the quality of our news operation. The chance to showcase these two qualified candidates for one of the most critical positions in government is something we’re proud to be a part of.”
Hawaii News Now will also host a 90-minute debate on July 12 for candidates in the Second Congressional District. That will air between 6:30 pm to 8 pm on the network’s three stations.
Hawaii News Now notes the debate will come just 16 days before the August 11 primary election.
The winner of the Democratic primary will most likely take on former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, who served as Hawaii’s governor from 2002 to 2010. Lingle also was Maui’s mayor and council member. Former State Senator and GOP Party Chair John Carroll is challenging Lingle in the Primary election and has asked Lingle repeatedly to debate him. Lingle, who is the best financed candidate of the four contenders for the seat, has ignored Carroll’s requests.
Yesterday, Carroll’s campaign informed the media that Smart Business Hawaii, a business advocacy organization, has for the second time offered to host the two at a forum or candidate debate.