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Saturday, October 19, 2002



John Mink
seeks ‘continuity’

Patsy Mink’s widower hopes
to find closure by winning an
election to complete her term


By Rod Antone
rantone@starbulletin.com

The husband of the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink is not running any campaign whatsoever and instead is simply asking voters to allow him to continue his wife's work by supporting him in the Nov. 30 special election.

John Mink said winning the special election, which would fill the rest of the term ending in January, is a way for him to find some "continuity" after his wife's death.


Election 2002
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"Surely it helps to bring the term to closure," said Mink yesterday. "It is difficult. But Patsy was devoted to her constituency. ... Their problems need to be addressed. So I'm very dedicated to that being taken care of before her term is over."

After a bout with viral pneumonia, Patsy Mink died Sept. 28, two days after the deadline for the Democratic Party to name a substitute candidate.

"I always supported her wholeheartedly," said Mink. "After something like this happens, there is a tremendous amount of details and loose ends."

Earlier this month, Mink's daughter Gwendolyn spoke out against the state's attempt to take her mother's name off the general election ballot and have the Democratic Party pick a replacement candidate.

Though Gov. Ben Cayetano said it was a move to save the state $2 million for a special election, Mink's daughter described it as "forces that seemed to be interested in ensuring an outcome that was more favorable, than in assuring that the people have a full say in the matter."

Yesterday her father said he agreed wholeheartedly, "for exactly those same reasons."

He also said that his decision to run was based purely on the needs of the community and not a contingency plan that was discussed with his wife while she was hospitalized.

"There was no such thing as that," he said. "It happened so suddenly."

The state Supreme Court denied Cayetano's request to remove Mink's name from the general election ballot, and now there is the potential for three elections within the next three months:

>> The Nov. 5 general election, which would include Mink's name on the 2nd Congressional District ballot.

>> The Nov. 30 special election to fill the last month of Mink's current term.

>> A Jan. 4 special election to fill the new two-year term if Patsy Mink posthumously wins the Nov. 5 election.

Though John Mink declined to discuss details about his wife's last days, he did say he was deeply touched by the support of community his family has received since Patsy died.

"The feeling and concern during her illness and afterwards has been tremendous and sincere," he said.

"One doesn't realize how deeply affected people can be until something like this has happened."



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