Liliuokalani Elementary School students, from left, Malia Mu-

tsuo, Angelina Peralta and Raven Llanto yesterday reminded passers-by to vote today. See Page A3 for another photo.

Time to vote

The top 3 candidates in the
Democratic primary wrap up
their campaigns in Hilo

By Richard Borreca

HILO >> For two of the top three Hawaii Democrats running for governor, the campaign ended last night with the party's traditional Mooheau Bandstand rally.

Only one of the three - D.G. "Andy" Anderson, state Rep. Ed Case or Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono - will emerge from today's primary election to face the expected Republican nominee, Linda Lingle, in the Nov. 5 general election.

Election 2002

"The Republican candidate has had a pretty easy time of it," Hirono told the crowd of about 250 gathered along Hilo Bay. "But that is all going to change. We are going to come together, we are going to campaign hard and we are going to campaign to win."

For Anderson, a longtime Republican who ran unsuccessfully twice for governor on the GOP ticket, last night's rally satisfied his curiosity.

"I have heard about this thing for so long. I have heard for 40 years how the Democrats wrap it up in Hilo, so it is kind of interesting to see," Anderson said.

The difference between the parties, Anderson said, is that the Democrats "want to believe and put their trust in you. This party has roots and depth, and they take it all very seriously."

Still, Anderson, who has been trailing in all the major public opinion polls, said if he wins tonight, it will be because of his support for a state lottery to help education.

"If there is anything that will bring me through, it will be my lottery," Anderson said.

For Case, a three-term representative running his first statewide race, the contest had a historic note as he recalled how he and his father drove past the Mooheau park when former Gov. John Burns was speaking, 40 years ago.

"Never could I have dreamed that I would be standing at this bandstand, on the very same spot giving this speech," Case said.

Although his campaign had only $500,000, compared with the $1 million that Hirono had and the $3 million that Lingle has raised, Case said he is confident that a strong pitch for change in government will win tonight.

Hirono, however, said her grass-roots supporters across the state, many who have been with her and with the Democratic state administration during her past two campaigns for lieutenant governor, will carry her through to victory.

For whoever wins for the Democrats, the campaign against Lingle is likely to be tough.

Rick Castberg, University of Hawaii-Hilo political science professor, said the Democrats will have some trouble uniting after the difficult and sometimes contentious three-way primary battle.

"Everybody will be talking unity, but I think it will be hard for some to come back and support the winner," Castberg said.

Big Island veteran Democrats such as community organizer George Yokoyama say that three-way primary has made it difficult to plan a strategy.

But, Yokoyama said, "Any Democrat who wins the primary will have a chance in the general against Lingle."

Last night's Democratic rally in Hilo's Mooheau Park included, from right, lieutenant governor candidate Donna Ikeda and gubernatorial hopefuls Mazie Hirono, Ed Case and D.G. "Andy" Anderson.

Yokoyama and others like three-time County Councilman Brian Delima noted that the crowd of 250 at last night's rally was small. The candidates had few of the large cheering, enthusiastic throngs of supporters they have had in years past.

To pump up enthusiasm, the Democratic Party's central committee chartered a plane for tomorrow for a day of speeches and appearances dubbed the "Flight to Victory."

The three gubernatorial candidates, along with the candidates for lieutenant governor and other major Democrats including Gov. Ben Cayetano and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, will fly together to all the neighbor islands for rallies to build support for the general election.

Lingle, meanwhile, held a news conference at the FilCom Center in Waipahu, where Leo Mackay, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, addressed a group of Filipino veterans yesterday. He stressed extra disability payments that will be available to Filipino veterans of World War II.

Lingle is expected to easily beat retired pilot and former legislator John Carroll in the GOP primary. Throughout her campaign she has run as the clear favorite - leading by as much as 80 points in some polls - and focused on the general election.

She said she is not overly concerned with who she might face come November.

"For me it's never mattered who my opponent was because regardless of which candidate gets elected, they really are tied to the old ways, they've been part of it," Lingle said. "It really doesn't matter because we're running on the basis that I can bring the kind of change that they haven't been able to."

Polls for Hawaii's 668,000 registered voters close at 6 p.m. today. First results are expected about an hour later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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