Democratic candidates, both victorious and vanquished after Saturday’s primary election, gathered this morning for the party’s traditional Unity Breakfast, led by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who despite his lopsided loss to state Sen. David Ige, pledged to support the newly nominated gubernatorial ticket.
"David, and anybody else who’s a candidate, can count on me to be behind them, shoulder-to-shoulder," Abercrombie said to wild applause.
Ige, who toppled Abercrombie by a whopping 36 percentage points, thanked Abercrombie for taking the high road in their race and for coming together with his campaign for the general election.
The traditional post-primary breakfast is symbolic of party members’ coming together to mend divisions that may have divided them during the campaign.
At least one split was still to be decided. The race in the Democratic primary for Senate between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was separated by just 1,635 votes with potentially as many as 8,000 ballots from Hawaii Island yet to be counted.
Two Puna polling sites were closed as a result of roads damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle, affecting about 8,000 registered voters. Elections officials said ballots would be mailed to those who did not vote prior to Saturday by mail or walk-in and voters would have several days to return them.
Neither candidate conceded Saturday night. Today, both said the election would be taken care of in due time, but the more immediate concern is for the well-being of those still feeling the affects of Iselle.
The pending storm led party officials to cancel post-primary events on other islands.