Hawaii Democrat Ed Case was elected yesterday to the second district of the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election held to fill the vacancy left by the Sept. 28 death of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink, who had been hospitalized for more than a month with pneumonia.
Case overwhelmingly won this election with 43.2 percent of the vote. He also won an earlier special election held Nov. 30 to fill the final five weeks of Mink’s term ending in 2002. Yesterday’s victory entitles him to a two-year term in Congress. He will be sworn in Jan. 7 in Washington D.C.
Case, who beat out 43 other candidates with 33,002 votes, told HawaiiReporter.com that he won because he appeals as a moderate and fiscally conservative Democrat to the majority of voters in the second district, which encompasses the neighbor islands and rural portions of Oahu. The district was once extremely liberal, but has shifted more to the middle in the last few years.
He says Mink, who was extremely liberal and partisan, was re-elected a number of times to this district, not for her liberal views and votes, but because she provided outstanding service to her constituents who called upon her for help. She also had no one well-known opposing her, Case says.
Gov. Linda Lingle said this morning in an interview with Rick Hamada on KHVH Radio that she also believes the election results were significant. She also believes Case represents the views of many in the second Congressional district and that he pulled many of the Republican votes.
The Republican with the most votes, State Rep. Barbara Marumoto, came in fourth, with 4,497 votes or 5.89 percent.
Case said his dominance in the election shows the power of the public unions in Hawaii, once prominent in elections, may, in fact, be fading.
His main opponent, former state Sen. Matt Matsunaga who resigned to run for lieutenant governor on the Democrat ticket, was endorse and financed heavily by public unions, leading Case to say in an earlier interview that Matsunaga had “prostituted” himself to the unions and “completely sold out.” Matsunaga came in second with more than 23,000 votes or 30 percent.
A second opponent, state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, came in third to Case and Matsunaga with nearly 8 percent of the vote or slightly more than 6,000 votes. Hanabusa, a labor attorney, was heavily endorsed by private labor unions.
Before leaving Hawaii for Washington yesterday, Case issued a statement saying he truly appreciates the trust placed in him by the people of the 2nd District and that he is “ready and eager to get going.”
His priorities will be directing the full resources of the federal government at addressing the 2nd District’s concerns, such as economic revitalization, education reform, environmental protection, health and senior care, crime and ice, transportation and infrastructure, and Native Hawaiian issues. He will continue Mink’s “exemplary record in individual constituent service,” Case says.
During the first quarter of this year, Case promises to travel throughout the 2nd District to hear from people exactly what they want and need from their federal government and to let them know what the government can do for them.
“I want to go to them and talk story in all of their communities where they live and work, and will be setting up our schedule in the next few weeks. I plan on making this traveling congressional office a regular part of my tenure,” Case says.
He also plans on meeting with all of the 2nd District’s elected officials, from Gov. Lingle through the four mayors, county council members and state legislators to ask how he can help with state and county issues.
“At this point, partisanship ends and we all have to work together for the common good,” Case says.
”Results of the Jan. 4 Special Election:”
*CASE, Ed, Democrat, 33,002 votes or 43.24 percent
*MATSUNAGA, Matt, Democrat, 23,050 votes or 30.20 percent
*HANABUSA, Colleen, Democrat, 6,046 votes or 7.92 percent
*MARUMOTO, Barbara, Republican, 4,497 votes or 5.89 percent
*McDERMOTT, Bob, Republican, 4,298 or 5.63 percent
*HALFORD, Chris, Republican, 728 votes or 0.95 percent
*KALOI, Kimo, Republican, 642 votes or 0.84 percent
*CARROLL, John (Mahina), Republican, 521 votes or 0.68 percent
*FASI, Frank F., Republican, 483 votes or 0.63 percent
*MCNETT, Mark, Non-partisan, 449 votes or 0.59 percent
*RATH, Jim, Republican, 414 votes or 0.54 percent
*HAAKE, Richard H. Republican, 212 votes or 0.28 percent
*SECRETARIO, Nelson J. Republican, 208 votes or 0.27 percent
*ANDERSON, Whitney T. Republican, 201 votes or 0.26 percent
*KEAULANA-DYBALL, Moana, Non-partisan, 91 votes or 0.12 percent
*NIKHILANANDA, Nick, Green Party, 75 votes or 0.10 percent
*COLE, Brian, Democrat, 69 votes or 0.09 percent
*KAAPU, Kekoa, Democrat, 68 votes or 0.09 percent
*MALLAN, Jeff, Libertarian, 58 votes or 0.08 percent
*MATAAFA, Sophie, Non-partisan, 52 votes or 0.07 percent
*FAIRHURST, Doug, Republican, 38 votes or 0.05 percent
*GAGNE, Mike, Democrat, 35 votes or 0.05 percent
*GOLOJUCH, Carolyn Mart, Republican, 29 votes or 0.04 percent
*GOODWIN, G. (Iimz), Green Party, 27 votes or 0.04 percent
*PAYNE, Richard (Rich) Republican, 25 votes or 0.03 percent
*WEATHERWAX, Clarence, Republican, 25 votes or 0.03 percent
*ANAND, Kabba, Non-partisan, 24 votes or 0.03 percent
*VIERRA, Dan, Non-partisan, 22 votes or 0.03 percent
*SABEY, John, Republican, 20 votes or 0.03 percent
*ROCCO, Pat, Democrat, 19 votes or 0.02 percent
*RUSSELL, Bill, Non-partisan, 18 votes or 0.02 percent
*SPARKS, Steve, Non-partisan, 17 votes or 0.02 percent
*WONG, Solomon, Non-partisan, 16 votes or 0.02 percent
*REYES, Art, Democrat, 15 votes or 0.02 percent
*BRITOS, Paul, Democrat, 13 votes or 0.02 percent
*HARLAN, S.J., Non-partisan, 11 votes or 0.01 percent
*COLLINS, Charles, Democrat, 10 votes or 0.01 percent
*RANDALL, John (Jack), Non-partisan, 9 votes or 0.01 percent
*TATAII, Steve, Democrat, 9 votes or 0.01 percent
*RETHMAN, Mike, Republican, 8 votes or 0.01 percent
*TURNER, Marshall, Non-partisan, 8 votes or 0.01 percent
*JENSEN, Herbert, Democrat, 6 votes or 0.01 percent
*GANO, Alan, Non-partisan, 3 votes or 0.00 percent
*ROWLAND, Bartle Lee, Non-partisan, 3 votes or 0.00 percent