Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Election 2002
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Ex-gov calls for
John Mink
to finish term

John Waihee joins Sen. Hanabusa
in a plea for Patsy Mink’s
spouse to fill her seat

State wants Mink replaced on ballot by another Dem

By Richard Borreca

Former Gov. John Waihee is joining Sen. Colleen Hanabusa in calling for John Mink, the husband of the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink, to finish Mink's term of office.

State officials are currently debating how to hold a special election to fill the two and a half months left in Mink's term in the 107th Congress.

Waihee issued a press release today saying that John Mink should fill the term. Waihee along with fellow Democrats Hanabusa and state Rep. Ed Case are planning to run for Mink's term to the 108th Congress, if she is elected posthumously in the November general election.

"We can best honor Patsy, by supporting John Mink as Hawaii's Congressional representative in the special election Nov. 30," Waihee said.

"John is the only person who could best represent Patsy's views on the issues that face this year's Congress," Waihee added.

Case, who filed for the special election yesterday, said if he is elected he would not change any of the operations in Mink's office and would "lean heavily on John Mink for guidance."

Case added that he didn't like the new suggestion by Gov. Ben Cayetano that the Democratic party be allowed to pick a successor to fill Mink's spot on the ballot.

"I am very skeptical of having a decision of that import made by a small group of people," Case said.

Cayetano is asking the state Supreme Court to allow the Democrats to pick a person to take Mink's place on the ballot against Republican Rep. Bob McDermott in the general election. The state administration sees the new plan as a way to save the estimated $2 million it would cost to hold a January special election if Mink is elected posthumously in the Nov. 5 general election.

Hanabusa, who said she wouldn't run in the special election, but does plan to run if Mink wins the general election, said she also disagreed with Cayetano's suggestion.

"I think what has happened has been clearly anticipated under law, so let the law as it exists function -- we should let the people decide," Hanabusa said.

Meanwhile, Gwendolyn Mink, the daughter of Patsy Mink, issued a strongly-worded statement today, saying a special election to fill the remaining months of her mother's term is unnecessary and would poorly serve Mink's constituents because the new staff would be ill-prepared to serve.

Mink's daughter, who is the acting chair of the Women's Studies department at Smith College, speculated in a column in the Honolulu Advertiser that the Democrats are trying "to fix the outcomes by scheduling elections to suit its purposes."

"My best guess is that the Democratic Party is trying to create an incumbent and so to narrow the field of contenders to assure an outcome favorable to the party," Mink said.

"The state's rush to replace my mother immediately when neither precedent nor law says it has to is an affront to my mother and an insult to her memory," Mink said.

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