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Hawaii elects 3 Democrats to Congress by a landslide

  • Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., left, is applauded by demonstrators as the arrive to speak to reporters in support of professor Christine Blasey Ford, who is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual attack, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • 2018 June 30 CTY - HSA PHOTO BY BRUCE ASATO Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard addresses the gathering. The Sacred Heart Shelter, comprising of twenty housing units, each about 120 sq.ft,, a central pavilion, two 8x8 offices, two restrooms, shower facilities for men, women and an ADA compliant facility, a project that began on May 30 in response to the destruction of homes and property by the eruption in Puna, was blessed today in a ceremony attended by Governor David Ige, Mayor Harry Kim, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, State Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, County Councilmember Eileen O'Hara, among many others, held at the shelter's pavilion, Saturday, June 30, 2018.
  • Former U.S. Rep Ed Case, left, along with his wife Audrey Case, do last minute campaigning waving at passing cars, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in Honolulu. Case is trying to succeed U.S. Rep Colleen Hanabusa, who is running for Hawaii governor. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
  • In this Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 photo, Cam Cavasso, right, the Republican candidate for Hawaii's first congressional district, and Patrick King, his campaign's operations director, wave at motorists in Kapolei, Hawaii on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. He is running against Democrat Ed Case. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
  • In this Oct. 22, 2018 photo, Brian Evans, a Republican candidate for Hawaii's second congressional district, poses in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
  • In this Oct. 16, 2018 photo provided by the Curtis For Senate campaign, Hawaii Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Ron Curtis waves at commuters on Nimitz Highway in Honolulu. He is running against incumbent Democrat Mazie Hirono. (Ahava Lee Lane/Curtis For Senate via AP)

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard easily won re-election today, and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case also is headed back to Congress, ensuring an all-Democratic delegation for the islands once again.

With all but one precinct counted, Hirono captured more than 266,000 votes, or 69.3 percent, compared with about 108,000, or 28.1 percent, for Republican challenger Ron Curtis.

Gabbard received more than 147,00 votes, or 74 percent, topping Republican Brian Evans’ 43,254 votes, or 21.7 percent.

With all precincts counted, Case tallied 130,384 votes, or 70.4 percent, defeating former state Rep. Cam Cavasso, who claimed more than 41,000 votes, or 22.2 percent.

The powerful showing by the Hawaii Democrats came as the Republicans nationally retained control of the Senate and the Democrats wrestled control of the House.

Todd Belt, a political science professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, put the election results into a broader political context. “Hawaii has been turning steadily more blue,” he said.

From that perspective, Republicans had little chance of making inroads here, according to Belt.

Hirono, who turned 71 on Saturday, ran unopposed in the primary, receiving nearly 202,000 votes.

A prominent critic of President Donald Trump, Hirono is finishing her first six-year term in the Senate. She previously served as a representative in Congress, Hawaii lieutenant governor and state representative.

Curtis, a retired systems engineer from Kauai, beat out seven other Republicans to get onto the November ballot. He received nearly 20 percent of the August vote.

Case, 66, advanced to the general by capturing nearly 39 percent of the primary vote for the 1st Congressional District seat, topping a field of six other Democratic candidates. Lt. Gov. Doug Chin finished second with about 25 percent.

Case served in Congress from 2002 to 2005 and was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally moderate and conservative Democrats.

On the Republican side, Cavasso, a financial advisor, received nearly 70 percent of the August vote, defeating Raymond Vinole.

In the race for the 2nd Congressional seat, Gabbard, 31, claimed 75 percent of the primary votes cast, easily beating two other candidates. Sherry Campagna finished second with 11 percent.

Gabbard has served in Congress since 2013.

Her Republican opponent, Evans, a Maui author and singer, ran unopposed in the primary.

Hirono holds one of two U.S. Senate seats for Hawaii. Sen. Brian Schatz was not up for re-election.

The 1st Congressional District covers urban Honolulu, stretching from Makapuu to Mililani and Ko Olina. The seat was vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who failed in her bid to beat Gov. David Ige in the August primary.

The 2nd District covers rural areas of Oahu and the neighbor islands.

The victors in all three races not only had a clear advantage in name recognition but also in campaign funds.

Hirono, for instance, had about $1.5 million in her campaign war-chest as of mid-October, compared with $2,420 for her Republican opponent, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Hirono and Gabbard also had the power of incumbency behind them.

For full Honolulu Star-Advertiser coverage of the 2018 General Election, go to

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