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Hirono beats Case

The Democrat and Republican Linda Lingle are headed for a rematch after their big wins

By Derrick DePledge

LAST UPDATED: 01:38 a.m. HST, Aug 12, 2012

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono scored a decisive victory over former U.S. Rep. Ed Case in the Demo­cratic primary for U.S. Senate on Saturday night and pivoted toward a November showdown with former Gov. Linda Lingle.

Hirono held a 57 percent to 41 percent gap over Case after most votes were counted in the primary to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. Lingle glided to victory in her Republican primary against former state lawmaker and attorney John Carroll.

The November general election will be a rematch of the 2002 governor's race, when Lingle defeated Hirono after Hirono had ousted Case in the primary.

Hirono said Hawaii needs a senator "who shares our values."

Hirono, 64, said a Republican Senate could lead to the repeal of the federal health care reform law and the permanent extension of President George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. She also said that Social Security and Medicare would be at greater risk.

"Regardless of what we think about Linda Lingle and her ‘extreme makeover' efforts, she's going to be one vote closer for Republican control of the U.S. Senate," she said. "That would be bad for seniors, for women, for working people of this country.

"And I'm going to fight that agenda every chance I get."

Lingle, 59, has campaigned on a bipartisan message intended for the moderate Demo­crats and independents she will need on her side to offset the state's Demo­cratic history.

"I think now that the primary is over, the people of Hawaii are going to have a clear choice between an experienced leader who has made tough decisions and worked in a bipartisan fashion and, in her case, a hyperpartisan Washington, D.C., insider with no record of accomplishment, with one of the most one-sided voting records in the United States Congress," Lingle said.

"I think the choice is very clear."

Lingle said Hirono would try to make the election about Hawaii-born President Barack Obama. "I know that Mazie has wanted to make this election about who the president is, and she stresses that," she said. "But I think the people of Hawaii worry about a rubber-stamp senator. I think they want someone more independent. And I won't be a rubber stamp for anybody, whether it's Barack Obama or Mitt Romney."

In the primary, the liberal Hirono drew emphatic support from traditional Demo­crats and union workers, while Case sought to attract independents and Republicans, a difficult calculation in a primary.

"I'm not going to blame it on anything," said Case, 59, who conceded defeat at his campaign headquarters at Ward Warehouse. "We put a case to the voters of what we felt we should do with our state and with our country. I'm not going to pin it off on party opposition or fundraising or anything like that.

"We ran a campaign that got our message to the voters. And if the voters want to go with a different direction, that's obviously their choice."

The Hawaii Senate race could be one of several nationally that determine the balance of political power in the Senate after the November elections. Senate Demo­crats and independents hold a 53-to-47 edge over Republicans.

Hawaii Democrats have said that preserving a Demo­cratic Senate is important to the islands because U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye, D-Hawaii, would retain his chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee and his title of Senate president pro tempore. Obama, if he is re-elected in November, would also benefit if Demo­crats keep control.

"Mazie winning is going to be very important to Democrats maintaining a majority in the Senate," Inouye said. "She has demonstrated that she knows how to work with others and that she understands how to get legislation passed. She knows Washington and she has a lot of friends there."

But Lingle has said that Hawaii would be in a better position if the state has a senator in both camps, especially if Republicans capture the Senate and Romney, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, defeats Obama.

Many voters interviewed across the state Saturday said they made up their minds early in the primary.

"I just liked the things that she stood for," Brenda Mathews, who lives on Maui and is a telecommuter for a company in Illinois, said of Hirono.

Robert Sims, a retired postal worker who lives in Waikiki, also preferred Hirono.

"She's been well-established. She's always been one that is working toward the betterment of the people here as well as others," he said. "And she's not afraid to get into things."

Stephen Correa, a retired state custodian who lives on Hawaii island, said he chose Hirono in part because of Case's decision six years ago to challenge Akaka in the primary. "It's controversy, you know," he said.

The Hawaii Poll had consistently shown Hirono with a double-digit lead in the primary, findings that tracked the Hirono campaign's internal polling. But internal surveys taken for Case, Lingle and by the online news service Civil Beat had the primary essentially tied.

Hirono had the early blessing of establishment Demo­crats in Hawaii and Washington, D.C., and most of the state's labor, environmental and progressive interest groups. The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly was the only significant labor group to endorse Case.

Hirono raised more than $3.5 million for her campaign. Case struggled to raise money and brought in more than $800,000, including a $50,000 loan in the final days before the primary to follow the $25,000 he had lent his campaign earlier. Lingle raised more than $4.4 million.

National interests were expected to target Hawaii, but only one, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — which spent $750,000 on advertising on Lingle's behalf — got heavily involved in the primary. The UHPA spent more than $250,000 on advertising on behalf of Case. Working Families for Hawaii, a labor group, spent more than $69,000 on radio ads for Hirono and against Case.

Hirono's advisers, confident in their internal polls, mapped a primary strategy intended to minimize interaction with Case and position Hirono for another test against Lingle. Hirono agreed to five debates — and only one, belatedly, on statewide commercial television — limiting Case's ability to change the narrative.

The Hirono campaign also went dark on television advertising between February and July. When the congresswoman finally launched her ads last month, the themes — her immigrant background, alternative energy, education, bipartisanship, protecting Social Security and Medicare — were aimed at the Demo­cratic base and at Lingle, not at Case.

Hirono's advisers acknowledged that the strategy was a calculated risk. But along with preparing for what could be a difficult campaign against Lingle, the strategy sidestepped an unnecessarily bloody fight with Case that could have alienated his moderate and independent base. In 2002, after Hirono narrowly defeated Case in the primary for governor, nearly half of Case's voters indicated in the Hawaii Poll that they would vote for Lingle.

Hirono will need many of Case's voters against Lingle in November.

Case said he did not know where his voters would go. "They're going to have to figure that out themselves," he said.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie urged Democrats to come together behind Hirono and also recognize the potential impact of a Lingle victory on Inouye and Obama. A decade ago, he said, "Linda Lingle did a great job of moving her core to vote and we did not do as good a job. What you will see this election is the exact opposite."

Reporters Michael Tsai and June Watanabe contributed to this report.

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kaleboy wrote:
Dan Inouye's puppet.
on August 12,2012 | 04:05AM
hilocal wrote:
kaleboy, Lingle will be the Republican party puppet if elected. If you want taxes on the 1% lowered and offset by taxes on the middle income, then she's your candidate.
on August 12,2012 | 08:22AM
joewilly wrote:
Lingle just wants to go to Washington so she can do lunch and go shopping with Sarah Palin. I don't know who's worse, Lingle or Mufi? Mazie is no shinning light too. In fact the only reason she won is because she is Japanese. Still talking about how her father beat up her mother and they came here with nothing. Blah, blah, blah. Get in line lady. She has done NOTHING. Shame on you Japanese. The only bright light is Tulsi.
on August 12,2012 | 10:05AM
kainalu wrote:
I voted for Lingle over Mazie for the Governorship, disgusted with Cayetano's bullying-style as his 2nd term came to an end. Essentially, a vote against Mazie because of Ben, versus a vote for Lingle. Mazie however, has matured into an accomplished stateswoman - independently so in my view. If she happens to get along with Inouye, the better. Inouye has been an excellent representative for us in Washington. Mazie has my vote.
on August 12,2012 | 10:15AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Gulp! Excellent? Does anyone remember him backing the troops from Hawaii who needed assistance during Vietnam or when Patsy tried to make the move to Senator Fongs position?
on August 12,2012 | 06:17PM
lee1957 wrote:
Swallowed that class warfare canard hook, line and sinker did ya?
on August 12,2012 | 05:15PM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Nothing but Lemmings in Hawaii.
on August 12,2012 | 06:18PM
postmanx wrote:
I don't want anybody rich or poor taxed any more. I want to know where the taxes we all pay way to much of are going. Also, I think Lingle has a better argument then Mazie...after all history has shown that control of congress moves between parties. Since this Senatorial seat is for "life" it would benefit Hawaii to have one Republican in congress. Lingle while not perfect has show that she is at least much better then Abercrombie. I say...let's give her a chance.
on August 12,2012 | 07:47PM
Keone_Mikaele wrote:
Puppet Girl for Inouye----Hirono is a complete SNOB and B---h.-----Tried getting her help for a veterans issue--- and her office was the RUDDEST---Most UNFRIENDLY----just only helping her own Buddhist friends apparently.-----She and Dan want Pearl Harbor to be a Memorial for Hiroshima and America's agression against Japan.
on August 12,2012 | 10:15AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Ah I guess I am not the only Vietnam vet though I am also a Buddhist who sought help from the King. Forget about asking Hirono, she is tone deaf all she says is how her mother secretly schemed to escape to Hawaii.
on August 12,2012 | 06:21PM
Kawipoo wrote:
This women is totally inept.
on August 12,2012 | 05:56AM
OldDiver wrote:
I agree. Linda Lingle left Neil Abercrombie with a $1.2 billion budget deficit which Abercrombie fixed in one year. Lingle is indeed inept.
on August 12,2012 | 07:55AM
allie wrote:
yup..but she is far worse than inept. She is a cynical, dishonest person who wants to hurt Hawaii and America
on August 12,2012 | 08:11AM
kainalu wrote:
on August 12,2012 | 10:16AM
peanutgallery wrote:
You're too funny OD. I don't know whether to tell you to get help, or keep talking. I think you should keep talking. We need the entertainment, and your fellow libs need something to cling to.
on August 12,2012 | 11:12AM
aunty wrote:
Which Abercrombie fixed??? I guess that wasn't your hurricane fund money he spent. Let's see how well he fixed it when the union contracts come up next year. The only thing he has fixed is his campaign fund to get four more years of pictures of himself.
on August 12,2012 | 12:44PM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Nah.....he didn't raid the funds from both the 'rainy day & Hurricane fund' he just temporarily borrowed and no return the monies. Isn't it just like all those politicians who say that they are looking out for the little guys when in fact they are putting them deeper in the hole? Yeah, all the Sheeple talk about is backing the local boy president who really does not care for Hawaii other than to be given the royal treatment when he comes to the Island.
on August 12,2012 | 06:27PM
allie wrote:
effective, smart lady. Case was always an embarrassing light weight whose unpopular rich family felt we owed him a seat
on August 12,2012 | 08:12AM
Keone_Mikaele wrote:
Lap dog for a demented old man in DC
on August 12,2012 | 10:18AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Lingle is looking better.
on August 12,2012 | 06:05AM
OldDiver wrote:
Lingle gambled $1 billion in tax dollars on wall street and lost. She did this in violation of State law. She is as inept as they get.
on August 12,2012 | 07:57AM
lee1957 wrote:
Your facts are wrong, but hey, why ruin a good story.
on August 12,2012 | 05:16PM
OldDiver wrote:
It's very true. Lingle even mentions it on her web site, with some lame excuse on how it happened.
on August 12,2012 | 07:32PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Look it up OD. The state settled with Citi Bank and got it all back.
on August 12,2012 | 09:50PM
Keone_Mikaele wrote:
Go Linda--- Get Rid Of Inouye's Hirono puppet...
on August 12,2012 | 10:20AM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Can't agree more. Did you see her interviews? She makes statements like "if the people here vote for Obama, why would they vote for Linda?". Is that how Mazie operates. Do whatever Obama does? Even her commercials are pathetic. "I care for the people of Hawaii. They are special, in that they care for each other." What the hell kind of message is that? It doesn't say anything. It's the same kind of jibberish that comes out of her mouth everytime she speaks. Says nothing.
on August 12,2012 | 09:54PM
kalihiboy2 wrote:
congrads HIRONO !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kimo Tabares of the East Coast
on August 12,2012 | 06:16AM
allie wrote:
we are all voting mazie out of desire to survive!
on August 12,2012 | 09:50AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Again, speak for yourself. There are far smarter voters out there than you.
on August 12,2012 | 11:16AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Correct. She got votes from Lingle supporters because she is the weaker candidate.
on August 12,2012 | 08:26PM
Changalang wrote:
Yup; proving that they don't want the best candidates. They just want their crook in there at any cost. Every district, every race, and every candidate must feel the power of a unified voice. Time to demonstrate that we can run anything against their best and still kick their F'n A55 everywhere. Time to bring it.
on August 12,2012 | 09:51PM
Keone_Mikaele wrote:
Hirono will dress up like Sen. Ted Steven's ----that will REALLY turn on the demented old man.----His Teddy Hirono Stevens fantasy...
on August 12,2012 | 10:31AM
matsudo wrote:
So sad that Ed didn't get the nod for the democratic ticket. Since we have Dan already in the Senate as a Democrat, I think we need Lingle a Republican filling the other seat for Hawaii. And if Dan Inouye wants Hirono in, then maybe he should resign his seat.
on August 12,2012 | 06:36AM
wiliki wrote:
Republicans have mucked up our country's economy.... kick em all out.
on August 12,2012 | 07:42AM
lee1957 wrote:
And, they hate old people.
on August 12,2012 | 05:18PM
Fred01 wrote:
Excuse me wiliki. The DEMOCRATS have ruined Hawaii....and fools like you keep bringing them back. Shameful.
on August 12,2012 | 06:08PM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
No, no, no. The Democrats have given the State of Hawaii the distinction of being the most politically corrupt state to continue to hold down the Hawaiians from whom their land was stolen and continue to this days tell them to wait like little waifs begging for crumbs from the Congressional delegation that brag that they are doing so much for the people of Hawaii. Or should it be the Lemmings of Hawaii who continue to vote them into office.
on August 12,2012 | 06:34PM
Changalang wrote:
Let them stay and feel the pressure of the boot on their neck. Connivers be damned.
on August 12,2012 | 09:53PM
Changalang wrote:
Let them stay and become accustomed to the pressure of the boot on their neck.
on August 12,2012 | 09:55PM
allie wrote:
Lingle is not competent to run as bad as her 8 years as governor was.
on August 12,2012 | 08:12AM
hilocal wrote:
matsudo, if the Republicans gain control of the US senate, Inouye will be able to deliver a lot less to Hawai'i.
on August 12,2012 | 08:25AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
What sh*t has he been shoveling so far? The moola for the rail still not hea! Wassup?
on August 12,2012 | 06:36PM
Keone_Mikaele wrote:
Inouye will soon be leaving anyway---there will be a huge celebration when he does go...
on August 12,2012 | 10:21AM
kainalu wrote:
Crazy logic, matsudo. It would cancel out 2 of our votes. Lingle cancels Inouye - Hawaii not represented. Instead of 2 votes for something, 0 votes for everything.
on August 12,2012 | 12:08PM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Whatt was Mazie talking about when she said that she would be able to vote bipartisan should the Senate were to become Republican controlled and King Dan is de-throned from his current leadership of the money bags?
on August 12,2012 | 06:39PM
peanutgallery wrote:
If the results of this particular race are honest, and for the record let me say that I have serious doubts, then the people in Hawaii deserve are about to be ill-served. It's sad, but true. Mazie can't each lunch without permission.
on August 12,2012 | 07:00AM
hilocal wrote:
peanutgallery, if you had worked with Mazie, you'd realize she's nobody's puppet. When she was in the state house, she voted for the public benefit even when the leadership told the majority Democrats to vote differently.
on August 12,2012 | 08:30AM
peanutgallery wrote:
I'm sure you're her greatest fan, but as a taxpayer, I'm not. She has done everything asked of her by others in government, to increase the size of government. Not once has Mazie stood on her own and said "no" to them. Not once. That's called being "owned".
on August 12,2012 | 11:14AM
Keone_Mikaele wrote:
A little woofie for Danny
on August 12,2012 | 10:22AM
Masami wrote:
The debate with Ed Case proved her ineffectiveness. When asked about her greatest accomplishment she boasted about securing $2 million to clean up Bellows and I thought ANYONE in Congress would support something like that. To get one's point across in the halls of Congress one has to "debate" well and convince others towards one's position. The constant repeating of "collaborative" and "cooperative" working styles shows that she doesn't have the persuasiveness nor the mindset to "think on her feet" to influence people in Congress in order to help the people of Hawaii. Its SAD that people really are like sheep and just vote what/who they're comfortable with.
on August 12,2012 | 07:37AM
allie wrote:
Case was not competent and seemed tongue tied. Mazie is our heroine
on August 12,2012 | 08:13AM
hilocal wrote:
Sadly, Masami, that's not how it works in the legislature or in Congress, contrary to what we were taught in high school government/civics classes.
on August 12,2012 | 08:32AM
Keone_Mikaele wrote:
Sheep would be offended by being associated with Hirono.
on August 12,2012 | 10:23AM
wiliki wrote:
Social Security and medicare are now more secure with Mazie as the Democratic candidate.
on August 12,2012 | 07:40AM
hilocal wrote:
wiliki, only if Mazie is elected in the general election.
on August 12,2012 | 08:33AM
Peacenik wrote:
Oh no, 3 more months of "mah Mama" ads. Driving me nuts,already.
on August 12,2012 | 08:57AM
Masami wrote:
Thanks (not) for reminding me. :-(
on August 12,2012 | 09:30AM
wiliki wrote:
Early experiences shape our character. We know that Hirono's heart is in the right place.
on August 12,2012 | 01:30PM
Changalang wrote:
Hirono is a joke, but Lingle is a conniving deceiver. Remember what she was like as Governor. Time to make sure Lingle is decimated in the General, so all of Hawaii will knw she lost to a joke because when it is all said and done. Democrats stick together. By holding hands, nothing poisonous can slip through. This election must be a demonstration of unity. Party unity will be what teaches treacherous dogs that messing with one means messing with ALL.
on August 12,2012 | 09:41PM
GrLan21 wrote:
I like her better than Lingle. Mazie's integrity, spirit of aloha, and servant attitude really shine through when she is interview. She would definitely get a lot more done than Lingle in the Senate. To you Lingle supporters, what are her accomplishments: Furlough Fridays, the Superferry debacle, and inability to work with the democratic legislature to accomplish anything great to name a few. When Lingle left office, the state economy was in serious trouble, thanks to President Bush (who Lingle campaigned for and whole-heartedly supported). Mazie all the way! Congratulations Mazie!
on August 12,2012 | 07:42AM
OldDiver wrote:
Lingle also accomplished a $1.2 billion budget deficit hand off to Neil Abercrombie.
on August 12,2012 | 07:59AM
allie wrote:
yup...but she did much worse
on August 12,2012 | 08:14AM
allie wrote:
Me too. Lingle is a very dishonest person and uses people
on August 12,2012 | 08:14AM
peanutgallery wrote:
Yeah! Let's bust out the tar and feathers, then eat her for lunch. You libs should step back and look at yourselves once in a while. Your comments make my kids laugh.
on August 12,2012 | 11:16AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Ok. We all get it. You don't like Lingle. Now try and add something intelligent to the discussion.
on August 12,2012 | 11:19AM
Changalang wrote:
Correct. Fire up team Tulsi. We have work to do.
on August 12,2012 | 09:44PM
Keone_Mikaele wrote:
Hirono is NOT senator material. She can only take orders from the demented old man. ----But then---- having a really demented old man and puppet Hirono replacing Akaka does make a perfect fit------
on August 12,2012 | 10:27AM
booboo0812 wrote:
I think GrLan21 is really Lt Governor Brian Schatz. What GrLan21 wrote regarding Linda Lingle is verbatim what the Lt Governor told Shawn Ching last night on t.v.
on August 12,2012 | 03:27PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
I think you answered your own question. Lingle couldn't get anything done because the dems would override everything she tried to do.
on August 12,2012 | 09:56PM
Imua45 wrote:
Anyone in the politcal world knows Mazie's the puppet & totally useless. You never hear her name until election time & no one knows what she does anyway.
on August 12,2012 | 10:40AM
kainalu wrote:
"Lingle, 59, has campaigned on a bipartisan message" ... as the fox guards the hen house. Anyone that buys that, I've got some fee-simple lava-shelf land for sale - CHEAP!
on August 12,2012 | 11:22AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Observation: Tulsi and Mazie won their respective races decisively. On the Tulsi/Mufi discussion thread the mood is generally upbeat, optimistic and pro-Tulsi. On this Mazie/Case thread, the mood is dark, anti-Hirono and negative. Two women win their races - one gets celebrated and one gets reviled. I'm not sure what that means but interesting, no?
on August 12,2012 | 01:56PM
booboo0812 wrote:
Will the real Maizie Hirono please stand up! During the primary campaign, she avoided debating Ed Case like the plague. Then after her primary victory last night, she eagerly wants to debate Linda Lingle? Did she all of a sudden grow a spine and wants to take on the world? I ask myself what has she done for Hawaii as our representative in the house, the answer is: pretty much not too much of nothing. what she says is just the same old democratic rhetoric (end the war in the middle east, lower taxes, save social security and Medicare...yada yada yada). Can't she think out of the box and say something more meaningful? But that would take growing a brain along with the spine she recently grew.
on August 12,2012 | 03:08PM
false wrote:
false3. The primary is over folks. All these sour grapes anti-Mazie comments. Man up! Looks like Linda Lingle is a shoo-in if she can get these disgruntled voters. That wouldn't be too bad since Lingle is coming out as against rail and her help in D.C. would be welcomed. Ben and Linda. Odd fellows indeed but who knows?
on August 12,2012 | 03:27PM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Having the next highest net worth in Congress from Hawaii she now afford to get new knee pads if she makes it to the U.S. Senate with her infantile retoric.
on August 12,2012 | 06:14PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Kinda figured it this way. Lingle supporters voted Mazie because she is the weaker candidate.
on August 12,2012 | 08:24PM
Changalang wrote:
Time to teach the Hawaii GOP a lesson for their "antics". Democrats unite. Lingle not only has to be defeated, but we must use all our collective power to stomp all Hawaii Republicans into political non-existence. The one party State must become a house without roaches. Two can play at this game. Co-existence and bi-partisanship is no longer an option. Been there, done that. It's payback time. No revenge would be sweeter than making Lingle lose to a candidate as lacking as Mazie. The sleeping giant has awoken.
on August 12,2012 | 09:31PM
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