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[ HONOLULU MAYOR ]
The candidate pulls out
Hannemann was then told that there were still 4,000 absentee votes to count after what was supposed to be the final Oahu results.
"Scratch," Hannemann said. "We hope it continues to hold."
Bainum began the evening in the lead, but that lead shrunk throughout the night.
"I think tonight may not have ended exactly like we wanted, but we certainly can be proud of the fight that we waged, the friends that we made and the important message that we shared," Bainum told supporters after the third printout.
Bainum had campaigned on a theme of "Honest Change."
Bainum congratulated Hannemann on what looked like his victory.
"I wish him well because I wish the city of Honolulu and its citizens only the very best," Bainum said. "It's been a very close race. A lot of people voted for positive change. I will certainly take note of that, and I hope Mr. Hannemann does."
Bainum officials and supporters said that negative attacks against Bainum and his wife in the final days of the campaign might have made the difference in the race.
"I think we did everything right. I'm very disappointed," City Councilman Gary Okino said. "It's absolutely due to the smear that contributed to loss."
Campaign co-chairman Roy Amemiya said, "If it did, then it's a sorry day for Hawaii politics."
Bainum advisor Andy Winer said that the difference this time is "the number of third-party entities, organizations that were in existence, that I think were putting out stuff that was not accountable, I think, to anybody."
The campaign used technology through e-mail, its Web site and automated telephone calls to not only transmit information about the candidate, but to counter last-minute attacks including those allegedly orchestrated by a mainland firm.
"We made a conscious decision that we were not going to sling mud back," Winer said.
Hannemann spokeswoman Elisa Yadao said she did not know anything about the organization and said Hannemann had no part in any smear campaign.
"We didn't do these things," Yadao said. "We worked very hard on the campaign to keep our focus on the issues."
Hannemann greeted his supporters at his Iwilei campaign headquarters by telling them, "Boston Red Sox, baby."
From the very beginning, "we've been facing an unbelievable money machine," he said, referring to Bainum's family fortune.
Because of the hard work of his volunteers, "we're this close," he told his supporters earlier in this night, but "we're not there yet."
He referred to recent published reports that put him 17 percentage points behind Bainum, and how they asserted this would be a runaway election for his opponent.
Instead, "we like the trend, we like the momentum," Hannemann said.
"Mufi has all the ingredients to be a great mayor," said Lee Correa, 74, a retired federal worker.
As supporters at Bainum's election night party at Ilikai Hotel's Pacific Ballroom watched the first results come across several large televisions, they cheered and jumped up and down.
"I feel very happy," said Gloria Baguyo, 55, of Salt Lake, who has campaigned and held signs for Bainum, "because Duke Bainum is winning."
But campaign coordinator John White said: "The night is young. We have a long way to go."
After the third printout showed that Hannemann had overtaken, there was a collective sigh by the crowd and then boos.
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