Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie raised more than double the campaign contributions of former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann over the past two months, a late surge that shows momentum for Abercrombie in the Democratic primary for governor.
Fundraising by major candidates for governor, from July 1 to Sept. 3.
NEIL ABERCROMBIE (D)
Raised this period: $768,289 ($50,000 in loans)
MUFI HANNEMANN (D)
Raised this period: $330,408
JAMES "DUKE" AIONA (R)
Raised this period: $200,624
JOHN CARROLL (R)
Raised this period: $6,129 ($5,200 in loans)
The Abercrombie campaign raised $768,289 from July to September, which is more in two months than the former congressman collected during the first six months of the year. Abercrombie had $275,030 in cash on hand and had raised $2.8 million overall. But despite the surge in fundraising, Abercrombie personally loaned his campaign $50,000 on Sept. 1 for operating expenses. He had previously loaned his campaign $10,000 last December.
Hannemann, who has held the fundraising edge, raised $330,408 during the past two months. He had substantially more cash on hand than Abercrombie — $791,787 — and had raised $3.4 million overall.
Hannemann’s cash advantage may help make a difference if he is able to spend it all in the final days before the Sept. 18 vote, but Abercrombie has enough money to remain fully engaged in the advertising and get-out-the-vote battles.
The two Democrats may come close to draining their campaign finances for the primary. Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the leading Republican candidate for governor, reported raising $200,624 over the past two months, had $487,173 in cash on hand, and had raised $2.8 million overall.
"Everybody knows that that is the sign of a surging campaign," Abercrombie said of his fundraising performance. "That’s the sign of momentum coming with the campaign. That’s the sign of ordinary people deciding they really want a change, they don’t want the status quo. And it’s people versus power, and, again, people are winning."
Dean Okimoto, Hannemann’s campaign chairman, said he believed the momentum is with Hannemann. "We are grateful that we have enough resources to get our message out across the state during the last week and a half of this campaign and that we have no debts outstanding," he said in a statement.
The Abercrombie campaign benefited from a fundraiser last month featuring country crooner Willie Nelson and Hawaii singer Willie K that drew several thousand people.
Dan Boylan, a political analyst and retired University of Hawaii-West Oahu history professor, said Hannemann has made miscalculations through his "I look like you" speech to the Carpenters Union and a brochure that asked voters to compare the candidates’ birthplaces, wives and education.
The Hannemann campaign released the campaign-finance figures to the news media before yesterday’s deadline to file reports. The actual report was not yet posted on the state Campaign Spending Commission’s website by press time last night.