Democrat Colleen Hanabusa has unseated Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Djou to represent urban Honolulu in the U.S. House, a victory for Democrats in President Barack Obama’s birth state.
Hanabusa, the president of the Hawaii Senate, held the advantage Tuesday in the fiercely contested race. The Associated Press, based on exit polls and returns so far, projected Hanabusa as the winner.
Hanabusa’s win is a rare Democratic defeat of an incumbent Republican as the GOP made major gains in the U.S. House nationwide.
Hanabusa, the first Asian-American woman in the nation to preside over a state legislative body, campaigned as a supporter of Obama, who won 72 percent of the state’s vote two years ago.
Djou took office just five months ago, when he won a multi-way special election that split Democratic support between Hanabusa and other candidates.