LINGLE VS. IWASE
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
The congregation sang "Hawaii Aloha" led by Brickwood Galuteria at the Democratic Party's unity breakfast program at the Pagoda Hotel yesterday morning. Democrat Randy Iwase rallied the party to take on a popular, well-financed governor.
‘You gotta believe’ there’s a contest
Democrats are challenged to take on a popular, prepared incumbent
Saying over and over, "You gotta believe," candidate Randy Iwase tried to rally the Democratic troops at their "unity breakfast" yesterday as he embarked on a campaign against one of the most well-financed and popular governors in Hawaii's history.
Iwase faces Republican incumbent Gov. Linda Lingle, who according to the September SurveyUSA statewide poll is packing on all-time high 69 percent approval rating.
Lingle also comes into the race with a $6 million campaign.
"We have to go out and talk to people about what we have been able to accomplish and what we hope to do if the people will give us another four years," Lingle said yesterday during a GOP unity luncheon.
Iwase, a longtime Democratic Party worker, former city councilman and state legislator, won easily over political newcomer William Aila.
Iwase entered the race for governor after no established Democrat would oppose Lingle, and has raised less than $250,000. But now he is hoping for support from the state's entrenched Democratic Party.
The GOP primary election vote tally was deceiving, as the large number of Republicans who crossed over to vote in the hot U.S. Senate race between Democrats Sen. Daniel Akaka and Rep. Ed Case cut the GOP vote in half. Republicans usually pull in about 66,000 primary votes, but they had fewer than 33,000 Saturday night.
Those numbers caused Iwase to boast that while he got almost 120,000 votes, Lingle only received 31,000, the lowest primary vote for any incumbent governor in Hawaii's history.
"This shows that there are a lot of people out there who are not satisfied," Iwase said.
Lingle said the real story of Iwase's vote total is nothing for him to brag about.
"One out of every four Democratic voters didn't even vote for governor. They had a chance, but they said, 'We don't like either of the two candidates,' and that bodes well for our race," Lingle said.
Lingle's campaign is already preparing commercials saying that her administration is responsible for Hawaii's improved economy, placing a record number of Hawaiians on Hawaiian homelands and securing state tax cuts.
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, Mike Gabbard, Bob Hogue and Gov. Linda Lingle clapped yesterday as Republicans gathered at state headquarters in Honolulu for a unity lunch.