Maui County polls closed at 6pm or so in the Hawaii Primary Election, but the treasured 1st Printout–representing a little over 104,000 votes, didn’t get released until shortly before 7pm. Here are some early looks at a few key races.
By now, most everyone in the state knows that incumbent Governor Neil Abercrombie is careening towards an historic upset defeat. I was sitting in his campaign’s Wailuku headquarters when the 1st Printout came through, at the dozen or so volunteers were very quiet when Hawaii News Now announced that Democratic challenger David Ige–a virtually unknown outside of this Pearl City district–had a commanding 65.7 percent of the vote tally, with Abercombie clinging to a miserable 31.0 percent.
The U.S. Senate race between Democratic Brian Schatz–appointed by Abercrombie after Senator Dan Inouye’s death–and Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is far closer: 49.4 percent for Hanabusa and 47.2 percent for Schatz. Of special note: Hanabusa’s campaign spokesman Peter Boylan told Hawaii News Now shortly before 7pm that today the Congresswoman had laid a flower on Inouye’s grave at Punchbowl Cemetery.
Subtle, don’t ya think?
Locally, the top two in the Maui County Mayor’s race are incumbent Alan Arakawa with 63.6 percent and Tamara Paltin with 10.5 percent. Amazingly enough, 312 people (so far) voted for Neldon AZD Mamuad even though ballots contained a note clearly saying he was not a legal candidate and votes for him wouldn’t count. On the 1st printout, that means Mamuad is doing better than candidate Beau Hawkes (arrested a few weeks ago for driving away from a traffic stop) but worse than Nelson Waikiki (arrested a month ago for violating conditions of his release from prison).
Over at the Makawao-Haiku-Paia Council race, challenger/former Councilman Mike Molina is leading incumbent Mike White, 41.6 percent to 37.0 percent.
And 6th District State Senator Roz Baker has a comfortable lead over her Democratic Primary challenger Terez Amato, 55.9 percent to 39.2 percent. Amato has strong backing from the Shaka Movement, so it will be interesting to see if/how those percentages change when the 2nd and final printouts move beyond absentee ballots and start showing votes cast today.
Photo of David Ige: Hawaii state Legislature