BLUE HAWAII: While change sweeps country, Hawaii remains the same

David Ige
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David Ige
David Ige, a state senator, is Hawaii’s new governor. Hawaii’s Democrats stayed solidly in control of Hawaii politics this 2014 general election

HONOLULU – In a sweeping victory that went across the country, Republicans took control the U.S. Senate and expanded their seats in the U.S. House. It is the first time in 8 years Republicans control both Houses.

But in Hawaii, there was virtually no change on the political front.


Hawaii’s Democratic Party still has a stronghold on state and federal politics, putting Hawaii in the solidly “blue” category.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, backed by President Barack Obama, easily won re-election, beating out Republican challenger Cam Cavasso.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-CD2, also won re-election by a large margin, despite putting her campaign on hold while on deployment with the Hawaii Army National Guard on Hawaii Island.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Djou was unable to beat State Rep. Mark Takai in the Congressional district 1 race, despite political polls showing their race was extremely close. Djou lost by about 4 percent.

State Senate Ways and Means Chair David Ige, D-Aiea, handily beat former Lieutenant Gov. Duke Aiona, a Republican, in the governor’s race.  Ige earlier ousted incumbent governor Neil Abercrombie in what was described as largest primary loss of any sitting governor in U.S. history. Ige primarily ran a grassroots campaign, relying not on his debating skills but rather his personal story that he shared with much smaller groups during coffee hours, breakfasts and stew dinners.

Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, a Democrat who ran as an independent candidate for governor, only garnered 11 percent of the vote, just 9 percent more than Libertarian Candidate Jeff Davis.

Hannemann is the former Honolulu mayor, and had previously been defeated in gubernatorial and congressional races.

Political analyst Neil Milner called Hannemann “a tragic candidate.”

In the state House, virtually all incumbents except for Rep. Karen Awana, D-43, kept their seat.

Awana received a wave of bad publicity in Oct. 2013, after Hawaii Campaign Spending Commissioners sanctioned her campaign, issuing the maximum fine of $8,590 for 54 violations of the state’s campaign spending law.

Awana resigned two days later as Democrat House Majority Leader after the Commission staff notified her she’d likely face steep fines for nine counts of filing false or inaccurate reports, 24 counts for untimely campaign donation deposits and failure to keep records.

In 2012, the Commission fined Awana twice in the amounts of $6,800 and $400 for the exactly the same types of violations.

Republican Andria Tupola won the seat with 56 percent of the vote to Awana’s 42 percent.

Former House Speaker Calvin Say retained his seat despite negative publicity from a legal challenge to his candidacy, which stemmed from accusations that he doesn’t live in his district as required by law.

Rep. Richard Fale, a Republican who ran for the open Senate seat in Kahaluu and the North Shore left vacant when Sen. Clayton Hee ran on the Democratic ticket for lieutenant governor, was unable to beat former Rep. Gil Riviere.

Riviere was a Republican while he was in the state House, who ran for the Senate seat this election as a Democrat; Fale beat Riviere in a previous House race.

Republicans will hold 8 seats of 51 in the House. The minority party picked up one seat. Feki Pouha, a Republican, beat Kent Fonoimoana, a Democrat, in the fight for the seat left open by Fale.

Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom, who was not up for re-election, will remain the only Republican in the 25-member body.

Hawaii had the worst voter turn out ever in the state’s history at 48 percent.





  1. Wow What A Campaign!!! A HUGE MAHALO goes out to all of our Supporters! Thank you Thank you Thank you! I can't say enough. We are still waiting for all of the numbers to come back then we will Crrruuunch then and see JUST how successful we were across the NATION. We will only be providing National Party Statistics. Our "Goal" in Hawaii was Accomplished when we Handed Neil his ASS in the Primary! We LOVE being able to say WE GAVE him the largest MARGIN OF LOSS in UNITED STATES HISTORY! We Love You Guys! We are ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF ONE FORCE! THE US MILITARY FORCE! WE CAN AND WILL BE HEARD!

    Thank You for LISTENING to us:

    Mark Takai
    Tulsi Gabbard
    Bob McDermott
    Gene Ward
    Sam Slom
    Gen. Shinseki
    Joy For Puna
    Jeff Davis
    Mike Kokoski
    Tom Berg
    Joe Kent
    and of Course our "Main Man" Governor Ige!

    Thank you Sir. Enjoy your Governorship and PLEASE< PLEASE<PLEASE


    Aloha to ALL and enjoy your Victories! To ALL of our SUPPORTERS and Local Candidates out there please Remember we didn't "Officially" kick off our Hawaii Campaign until Nov 01 @ 2130! So Even though we may have fell a "little" short of our goal of 3% in 72 hrs with some of our Candidates some of them Hit the Ball Out of the Park!

    Today is DAY 1 of our Campaign for the Next Election! WE LOVE POLITICS!


  2. Will our congress-wimps be able to convince the republicans to keep our military contracts, & pork barrel projects?

    Only if Schatz gets braces?

  3. "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." – Albert Einstein

  4. Nothing changes at all, just a more clueless governor who will be lead to believe by special interests what the people want.

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