Takai, Gabbard, Tsutsui Win Democratic Primaries in Hawaii

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A show of Democratic unity by 1st Congressional District candidates Ikaika Anderson, Mark Takai.

A show of Democratic unity by 1st Congressional District candidates Ikaika Anderson, Stanley Chang, Mark Takai and Will Espero. Takai finished first among seven candidates in the primary.

HONOLULU — State Sen. Mark Takai emerged victorious in Saturday’s Democratic primary for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, receiving the most votes — 52,719 or 42.6 percent — among seven candidates.

The district, which covers urban Oahu, is currently represented by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is giving up her seat to run for Senate against incumbent and fellow Democrat Brian Schatz. (The outcome of that race is still pending.)

Takai, who attended a Democratic unity breakfast the next day with the other candidates, said via Facebook, “Mahalo to all of our supporters. This victory belongs to all of you.”

In the November general election, Takai’s Republican opponent will be former Rep. Charles Djou, who received 20,788 votes (91 percent) in the GOP primary.

In addition to Takai, the Democratic candidates were: State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (33,649 votes, 27.2 percent); Honolulu City Councilmember Stanley Chang (12,130 votes, 9.8 percent); Honolulu City Councilmember Ikaika Anderson (7,930 votes, 6.4 percent);  State Sen. William Espero (4,554 votes, 3.7 percent); Honolulu City Councilmember Joe Manahan (4,485 votes, 3.6 percent); Kathryn Xian, progressive activist and women’s advocate  (3,038 votes, 2.5 percent).

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui

Djou won a special election to represent the 1st Congressional District in 2010 after then-Rep. Neil Abercrombie resigned to run for governor. Djou lost to Hanabusa in the general election, won the Republican nomination for the congressional seat in 2012, and lost to Hanabusa again.

Republican Allan Levene, a technology businessman, received 776 votes (3.4 percent). He had also declared his candidacy for congressional seats in Georgia, Minnesota and Michigan.

Also on the ballot were nonpartisans Calvin Griffin and Robert Meyer, who received less than 100 votes each.

In the 2nd Congressional District, which covers rural Oahu and the other islands, incumbent Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, receiving 89,405 votes.

Her Republican opponent in November will be handyman Kawika Crowley (8,849 votes, 42.5 percent), who lost to Gabbard in the 2012 election. The other Republican candidate, reform advocate Marissa Capelouto, received 6,797 votes (32.7 percent).

Also on the ballot was Libertarian Joe Kent, who received 364 votes.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

In the Democratic race for lieutenant governor, incumbent Shan Tsutsui defeated State Sen. Clayton Hee, 119,229 (50.8 percent) to 80,119 (34.1 percent).

Tsutsui, formerly president of the Senate, was appointed to replace then-Lt. Gov. Schatz in December 2012 after Abercrombie named Schatz to replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye. Tsutsui had been a state senator since 2003.

Hee is chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee. An elected official for 28 years, he has also served in the Hawaii House of Representatives and as trustee and chairman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Former TV reporter Mary Zanakis was third with 17,933 votes (7.6 percent), followed by Miles Shiratori (2,557, 1.1 percent) and Sam Puletasi (2,087, 0.9 percent).

On the Republican side, the winner was Elwin Ahu, senior pastor of New Hope Metro and former Hawaii Circuit Court judge, with 27,405 votes (62.8 percent). Kimo Sutton, a delegate to the last state and national Republican conventions, was second with 11,351 votes (26 percent).

Hawaii Independent Party candidate Les Chang, a decorated Air Force veteran, received 1,346 votes. He is the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann.

Also running was Libertarian Cynthia Marlin, who received 545 votes.

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