Republicans optimistic
Bush will win Hawaii
in presidential vote

Republicans in Hawaii, encouraged by President Bush's visit last month, say Hawaii voters could break tradition and give the GOP ticket a victory in next year's presidential election.

Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday opened the Bush campaign, saying the local Republican Party would organize to ensure Bush's re-election.

Bush lost Hawaii in 2000, with 137,845 votes to Al Gore's 205,286.

Brennon Morioka, Hawaii GOP chairman, said Lingle's position as the first Republican governor elected in Hawaii in 40 years has helped attract attention to the state.

"The Bush campaign considers Hawaii to be leaning to the GOP," Morioka said.

Morioka acknowledged that Democrats, who have lost the race for president in Hawaii only twice (the second terms of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon), would still enjoy "a traditional advantage."

Lingle will serve as the chairwoman of the Bush/Cheney campaign in Hawaii.


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