Election 2002


Mink’s challengers
battle sympathy vote

More elections due if the
deceased congresswoman wins

» Special election candidates
» U.S. congressional candidates

By Crystal Kua

The death of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink has turned the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat topsy-turvy.

Mink died Sept. 28 after a monthlong battle with viral pneumonia brought on by chickenpox.

Democrats are urging general-election votes for Mink as a tribute to the congresswoman's more than 40 years of public service.

If Mink posthumously wins the general election, a vacancy will be declared, and a special election will be held Jan. 4 to permanently fill the seat's next two-year term. The district includes rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.

The biggest obstacle for Republican challenger Bob McDermott, a state lawmaker, is to overcome the sympathy vote and a lack of name recognition.

"It's up to me to make the case, and I'm working really hard to do that and it's going to require a lot of effort and sweat," he said. "Let people know, No. 1, what my platform is with regard to economic development and what I want to do for the state. They don't know that right now. Right now all they know is that if they vote for me, they save $2 million."

Honor guards from the Hawaii Army National Guard stood over Patsy Mink's coffin at the state Capitol courtyard this month. Thirty-eight candidates are running to finish her term.

That is because if McDermott wins, the state will not have to go through with the costly Jan. 4 special election.

To avoid having to hold that election, Gov. Ben Cayetano tried unsuccessfully to remove Mink's name from the ballot, but the state Supreme Court rejected that bid.

As an alternative, critics have called for the cancellation of a Nov. 30 special election to fill the last month of Mink's current term. They say that filling so short of a term is unnecessary.

Thirty-eight candidates -- including Democrat Ed Case, who lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary election, and John Mink, Patsy Mink's husband -- have filed papers to run for the Nov. 30 special election.

Cayetano, however, says that under the law, the election must be held. He asked the state Supreme Court if he could combine the Nov. 30 special election with the Nov. 5 general election, but the Supreme Court denied the request.

McDermott said that raising money will also be important to win the general election, "so I can advertise. ... I've got to get on the airwaves and get the message out. I've got to reach out to independent voters and Republicans. I'm not going to get the hard-core Democrats."

McDermott said he hopes to reach Democrats "who are fed up with the shenanigans, the corruption and the manipulation, being told how to vote."

Libertarian Jeff Mallan and Natural Law candidate Nicholas Bedworth are also in the general-election race for the congressional seat.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie is up for re-election in the 1st Congressional District, made up of urban Oahu. He faces Republican Mark Terry and Libertarian James Bracken.


Many seek Mink’s seat

Nov. 30 special election candidates:

>> Whitney T. Anderson (R)
>> John L. Baker (D)
>> Walter R. Barnes (R)
>> Paul Britos (D)
>> John S. "Mahina" Carroll (R)
>> Ed Case (D)
>> Brian G. Cole (D)
>> Dan A. Cole (N)
>> Chas Collins (D)
>> Joe Conner (R)
>> Lawrence "Lehr" Duquesne (L)
>> Doug Fairhurst (R)
>> Michael Gagne (D)
>> Carolyn Martinez Golojuch (R)
>> G. "Iimz" Goodwin (G)
>> Richard H. Haake (R)
>> S.J. Harlan (N)
>> Lillian Lai Lam Wang Hong (N)
>> Ron "Whodaguy" Jacobs (N)
>> Kekoa D. Kaapu (D)
>> Kimo Kaloi (R)
>> Jeff Mallan (L)
>> Robert M. Martin Jr. (N)
>> John Mayer (N)
>> Mark McNett (N)
>> John F. Mink (D)
>> Solomon Naluai (D)
>> Nick Nikhilananda (G)
>> John Parker (N)
>> Joseph "Papa Joe" Payne (R)
>> John "Jack" Randall (N)
>> Mike Rethman (N)
>> Art P. Reyes (D)
>> Clifford P. Rhodes (R)
>> Bill Russell (N)
>> Bob Schieve (R)
>> Steve Tataii (D)
>> Timmy Yuen (R)

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