Legacy vote holds
appeal with Mink’s
staunch fans

McDermott decries Dems using Mink

By Genevieve A. Suzuki

Several of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink's constituents in Kailua and Waipahu who talked to the Star-Bulletin yesterday will use their votes in the general election to honor her.

"The message is out that it would be a last vote of confidence for all the things she's done for Hawaii," said Kailua resident Charlene Chang.

"I know that she's worked very hard for the things that she's believed in."

Mink died Saturday at Straub Clinic & Hospital after a bout with viral pneumonia. Her name will be on the general election ballot Nov. 5 because she did not withdraw before the deadline last Thursday.

Also on the ballot are Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott, Libertarian Jeff Mallan and Natural Law Party candidate Nicholas Bedworth. If Mink wins, there will be a special winner-take-all election, probably in March.

Mink was such a strong congresswoman that the votes will probably be overwhelmingly in her favor, Chang said.

"We loved this lady because she was one of the only ones who was fair," said Sam Abdeljawad, the 26-year-old owner of Professional Auto Stereo on Farrington Highway in Waipahu.

Mink looked at Middle East issues fairly and considered the human aspect of the situation, said Abdeljawad, a Palestinian from Jerusalem.

Mink's was one of 11 votes in December against a resolution that condemned the suicide bombings by Palestinians and expressed solidarity with Israel in the fight against terrorism.

Abdeljawad, 26, said Mink understood that there is more than one side to the fighting in and around Israel.

Abdeljawad's wife and her family voted for Mink and will probably vote for Mink in the general election, he said.

Non DeMello, the owner of Agnes' Portuguese Bake Shop in Kailua, across from Patsy Mink's campaign headquarters on the corner of Kihapai and Hoolai streets, said a special election is definitely needed so that there would be a Democratic candidate available on the ticket.

DeMello said he will probably vote for Mink at the general election "if for no other reason to ensure that we have a choice as to who we want for our representative for this district."

"If they can vote a dead man to the Senate in Missouri, they certainly can vote for Patsy to go to Congress," DeMello said, referring to Gov. Mel Carnahan, who three weeks after he died beat incumbent John Ashcroft in a 2000 Senate race. "I know she was a very effective representative."

Dee Rostrada Dominga, 72, who has lived in Waipahu since 1940, said: "I think she was a good lady. ... I wanted her to win."

Dominga said she is in favor of a special election, "but that person's gotta be good, the one that's gonna be replacing her."

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