Tanonaka enters race
to oust Abercrombie
Prominent isle GOP members
are on hand to support his bid
Dalton Tanonaka, former television newsman and unsuccessful GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, said he is running for Congress because he believes he can serve Hawaii better than Democratic incumbent, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie.
Tanonaka will be running as a Republican for the 1st Congressional District, representing urban Oahu.
"It kinda goes without saying that having someone of the same party as the White House and the majority of the House and Senate would be good for Hawaii, common sense," Tanonaka said.
A statement from the Abercrombie campaign said: "A Republican in Congress will be working at cross purposes to Sen. (Daniel) Inouye and the rest of the (Democratic) congressional delegation. Everyone concerned about maintaining the momentum of Hawaii's economic recovery will have to think very seriously about the consequences of breaking up the most productive partnership in Hawaii's congressional history."
Former U.S. Rep. Pat Saiki, Gov. Linda Lingle, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona Jr. and Republican members of the state House and Senate were present at yesterday's announcement to show support for Tanonaka. Republican Saiki is also chairwoman of Tanonaka's campaign.
So far, Abercrombie is the only candidate to file election papers.
Tanonaka said he has a "solid amount of money" to start his campaign but declined to say how much he has. He also declined to say how much he think he will need to mount a successful campaign.
"Let's just say it's more than a lieutenant governor's race," he said.
In his 2002 bid for the lieutenant governor, Tanonaka reported collecting $287,934 and spending $285,881 in the Republican primary election. However, $141,000 of his receipts were from loans.
In the latest Federal Election Commission data released Friday, Abercrombie reported he collected $585,214 since the last election, spent $387,720 and had $536,136 cash on hand.