WASHINGTON, August 10, 2014 – Hawaiians have voted to deny another term to their incumbent governor, Neil Abercrombie, a first for the Aloha State which has never voted a sitting Democratic governor out. A native of Buffalo, New York, Mr. Abercrombie has held various appointed and elective offices in Hawaii for for four decades, winning his first elective position as a Hawaii state representative in 1974.
David Ige, a Democratic state senator, defeated Mr. Abercrombie in this week’s primary elections on the islands, effectively denying the sitting governor a second term. Sixty-six percent of voting Hawaiians chose Ige over Mr. Abercrombie, demonstrating a clear mandate for change.
“Every waking breath that I’ve taken, every thought that I’ve had before I slept, was for Hawaii,” Mr. Abercrombie said of his nearly 40 years in public office. “Whatever faults I had, one of them has never been a failure to give all that I can every day.”
“Hawaii is everything to me,” he said, pledging to support Mr. Ige in the general election.
Ige overcame many obstacles to win the contest, including spending less than $500,000 against Mr. Abercrombie’s war chest of nearly $5 million. Abercrombie also had the support of the Nation’s top Democrat, President Barack Obama, well known as a native of Hawaii.
Another notable battle in the state pitted U.S. Senator Brian Schatz against challenger and congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. Formerly Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor and Mr. Abercrombie’s 2010 running mate, he was appointed to the senate set by the governor in 2012 to fill out the term of the iconic Senator Daniel Inouye who had died in office. The race between Mr. Schatz and Ms. Hanabusa-who was actually Mr. Inouye’s preferred successor-is so close that any changes in voter turnout due to an atypical pair of violent storms could affect the outcome.
Two precincts on the Big Island actually had to postpone voting in Saturday’s primaries. As of the morning of August 10, Mr. Schatz and Ms. Hanabusa were separated by less than one percent in the delayed tally
Hawaii is a heavily Democratic state, and Democrats are almost certain to retain the seat in the fall elections, irrespective of who wins the current U.S. Senate primary contest.