Edwards, Giuliani backers join winning camps
Presidential hopefuls drop out but their supporters keep going
Hawaii's supporters for presidential candidates on both the Republican and Democratic sides are consolidating.
Democratic organizers for former Sen. John Edwards had planned to start meeting this weekend to organize for the Feb. 19 Hawaii Democratic caucus.
But hours after Jadine Nielsen, who was organizing for Edwards, sent out a notice of tomorrow's meeting, Edwards announced that he was halting his campaign.
The announcement effectively stopped any Edwards movement in Hawaii, but Nielsen said, "I believe his candidacy drove the presidential campaign dialogue on so many fronts: the struggle of the middle class, universal health care, ending poverty."
On the Republican side, the announcement by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to close his campaign and work for U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., meant that Hawaii Giuliani supporters would put their efforts into the local McCain campaign.
"Having served in Congress at the same time as Sen. McCain, I respect his integrity and believe Sen. McCain has the right leadership qualities," said former Republican U.S. Rep. Pat Saiki, who had been chairwoman of the Giuliani campaign in Hawaii.
Two other local GOP workers, former party Chairman Sam Aiona and Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, who had been with Giuliani, said they would now work for McCain.
State Rep. Gene Ward (R, Kalama Valley-Hawaii Kai), who chairs the McCain committee, welcomed the additions.
The Hawaii Republican Party is holding its caucus in district meetings through Thursday. The caucus will select delegates to the May state convention, which will pick delegates to the September national convention.
Later this month the Democratic caucus will pick delegates pledged to either U.S. Sen. Barack Obama or U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.