Candidates beat filing deadline
Placing an emphasis on getting U.S. troops out of Iraq, U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono formally filed nomination papers yesterday seeking a second term in the House of Representatives.
Also beating today's filing deadline was Panos Prevedouros, a University of Hawaii civil engineering professor and outspoken critic of the city's rail transit project, who is challenging Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
Prospective candidates have until 4:30 p.m. today to file nomination papers with the state Office of Elections.
As of yesterday, Hirono faced no challengers in the Democratic primary election for the 2nd Congressional District seat representing rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.
"Regardless of whether anyone runs against me or not, I intend to run a really strong campaign," Hirono said yesterday. "I have 600,000 people in my district that I need to communicate what I've been working on and continue to express their concerns in Congress."
She listed three priorities and one underlying goal she would focus on if re-elected.
"It's energy independence, environment, education, and overlaying all this is the need to bring our troops home and stop spending $300 million or more in a single day on the war in Iraq," she said.
According to her campaign, Hirono has raised about $1 million in the current election cycle and has about $673,000 cash on hand. Her campaign released the preliminary report last week, ahead of the July 31 deadline for candidates to file spending reports.
"I'm expecting to spend over $1 million in order to effectively communicate with my constituents," she said.
In the Honolulu mayor's race, Prevedouros faces an uphill battle against the incumbent Hannemann, who already has raised more than $2.5 million in campaign funds. Hannemann formally filed nomination papers a week ago.
"I think we have a fighting chance," Prevedouros said. "The whole campaign is not going to be based on money; it's going to be volunteers and a solid campaign platform.
"I think that we should be successful enough to get at least $100,000, and I think that will be enough for the next two months to help us get the message out."
He said donations already have started to come in after his Web site, panosforprogress.com, added a link for supporters to contribute donations online.
Prevedouros has been a vocal critic of the city's planned $4 billion rail system, saying Hannemann and the City Council should explore less expensive options, such as dedicated roadways for buses.
Win or lose, Prevedouros said he hopes his campaign helps educate people about transportation issues facing the city.
"To educate the public about the terrible infrastructure troubles that this city is having — we look forward to minimally do that," he said. "(We hope) to get the word out of the many, many, many things that need to be done and the different priorities that we need to have in order to be successful in sustainability for the future."
Also filing nomination papers yesterday was state Sen. Gordon Trimble (R, Downtown-Waikiki).
He has no primary opponent, and could face former Democratic Party Chairman Brickwood Galuteria in the November general election. Galuteria is challenged in the primary by Carlton Middleton.