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Hannemann, Aiona get most campaign cash


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POSTED: Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona is getting ready for what appears to be a competitive race for governor, with more than $760,000 in his campaign coffers, according to state reports released yesterday.

               

     

 

WAR CHESTS

        Reports from the state Campaign Spending Commission:
       

Gov. Linda Lingle: $124,965.30*

       

Spent $52,496.66; received $0

       

Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona: $766,676.89*

       

Spent $269,985.38; received $141,899.90

       

Mayor Mufi Hannemann: $659,754.75**

       

Spent $20,209.19; received $7,800.54

       

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa: $197,524.82**

       

Spent $16,407.30; received $3,725

       

Honolulu mayoral opponent Ann Kobayashi: $19,256.97**

       

Spent $15,346.47; received $13,228.92

       

  * From July 2008 to December 2008

       

** From Nov. 5, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2008

       

From July to December 2008, while much of Hawaii had been consumed with the presidential and mayoral races, Aiona's campaign had been preparing for the open gubernatorial race in 2010, when Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's second term ends.

Aiona, who announced his candidacy in 2007, has the backing of the Hawaii Republican Party and so far remains the top GOP gubernatorial candidate.

“;We feel that we're in a good spot at this point,”; said Miriam Hellreich, former finance director for Lingle's campaign and now working on Aiona's campaign. “;We're really happy and grateful for the fact that people have shown so much enthusiasm and support for him and are willing to give money early.”;

The 2010 governor's race is shaping up as a battle, with several top Democratic politicians considering the race. While no Democrat has formally announced an intention to run, possible gubernatorial candidates include U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Mufi Hannemann, state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

Aiona spent almost $270,000 in six months, which included a massive birthday party and fundraiser, but raised $142,000. While Aiona has the advantage of time - with more than a year to raise funds until the next election - a successful governor's race requires a significant amount of money. Lingle's campaign spent $4.6 million for her race for governor in 2002.

But Hellreich added that the years ahead will be challenging for political fundraising because of the nation's economic crisis.

“;We are dealing with a difficult economy and we don't know what kind of an impact that it will have,”; Hellreich said. “;We will certainly be aggressive in fundraising.”;

Lingle's campaign, on the other hand, has remained mostly quiet for the last couple of months. Lingle did not raise any money, but did spend $19,200 to support local Republican candidates for their campaign fundraisers. The bulk of Lingle's expenses went to the Tarrance Group, which conducted a poll costing $31,987.

Hannemann also has one of the largest campaign war chests, with nearly $660,000 left after his contested re-election.

Hannemann raised more than $3 million for his re-election campaign - a huge advantage over his challengers. He failed to win outright during the primary election in 2008, forcing him to spend more of his campaign funds.

During the last two critical weeks leading up to the general election, Hannemann spent nearly $550,000 on mainly last-minute campaigning, such as television and newspaper advertisements.

According to law, Hannemann - who said he is receptive to running for Congress or governor - can use his leftover funds for state races but not federal positions.