POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 26, 2010
President Barack Obama has appealed to Democrats to support state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa in her rematch against U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, R-Hawaii, for urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District in November.
In an e-mail paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee, Obama asks Democrats to walk door-to-door and make telephone calls to help with voter turnout.
The Hawaii-born Obama said he needs Democrats in Congress to advance his policies.
"And with so much still left to be done, and too many families struggling to get by, we need to keep America moving forward -- which means I need you to support Colleen Hanabusa for Congress," the president said.
National Democrats believe they can take back the traditionally Democratic district from Djou, the first Republican to hold the seat in two decades. Djou beat Hanabusa and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case in a May special election to fill out the remainder of former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's term after Abercrombie resigned to run for governor.
Obama, who was born and grew up in the district, issued a telephone recording during the special election urging voters to choose a Democrat. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved more than $200,000 in television advertising time in Hawaii to help Hanabusa against Djou in November.
National Republicans have helped Djou with fundraising.
"Obviously, she needs help because of his unpopular policies and the drag that he has put on all Democratic candidates across the country," Dylan Nonaka, executive director of the state GOP, said of Obama.
Richard Rapoza, the director of communications for the Hanabusa campaign, said Hanabusa was pleased to have the president's support.
"With the president supporting Colleen, and Colleen supporting Hawaii, we have a chance to push back against the Republican culture of 'no' and resist Republican efforts to preserve tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, eliminate the rules reining in the excesses of Wall Street and the special interests, and abandon the middle class to fend for itself," he said in a statement. "President Obama knows that Colleen will help keep our nation from going back to the failed Bush-era policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place."