Hanabusa vows to stay in race


POSTED: Thursday, May 06, 2010

Democratic state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, reacting to a series of public opinion polls showing her in third place in the race for Congress, insists she will not drop out.

Hanabusa made the unusual move of calling a news conference yesterday at her Kakaako campaign headquarters to say she will run in the special election and the fall contest.

Saying she was answering “;the particular question that has been on everyone's mind,”; Hanabusa said she expects to win.

“;I am in this race until the end and I am in this race to win,”; Hanabusa said before a gathering of about 60 campaign supporters and workers.

The last five months of polls have shown Hanabusa collecting between 17 percent and 28 percent of the vote, not enough to win, but enough to deny victory to the other Democrat, former U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

;[Preview]  Hanabusa declares she won't back down

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa said she will remain in the First Congressional District race until the very end.


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Hanabusa, however, rejected the poll findings, saying, “;I know from walking, knocking on doors and sign waving I have enormous support in this community.”;

National Democratic organizations are signaling that they fear Republican Councilman Charles Djou will win the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie in the 1st Congressional District and give the GOP a major boost going into the fall elections.

“;All along, our focus has been on making sure voters in Hawaii know about Charles Djou's record of support for corporate special interests over Hawaii families, and getting Democrats to return their special election ballots,”; said Andy Stone, Western regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “;And that continues to be where we're concentrating our efforts.”;

Djou says Hanabusa should stay in the race, but notes that two Democratic candidates are causing the state's dominant political party concern.

“;The mainland party bosses have been trying to push Colleen out of the race because they are worried two voices exposing Ed Case's record is a recipe for disaster for the Democrats,”; Djou said. “;I welcome all candidates in this special election—the more choices for the people in our election, the healthier it is for our democracy.”;

Case did not return requests for comment.

Hanabusa says she feels that at one time she was being attacked as an “;insider candidate”; because of her endorsement by Hawaii U.S. Sens. Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka and most of the major unions in Hawaii.

Now, Hanabusa says, she is an outsider with a whisper campaign from the national Democratic establishment aimed at getting her out of the race.

“;I wish they would discuss this with me first. I wonder why they would release it to all of you and not release it to me,”; Hanabusa said of a poll taken for the Democratic National Committee that was leaked to the Washington Post.

The poll by Harstad Strategic Research was particularly harsh, noting, “;Even women prefer Case by 36 to 23 over Hanabusa.”;