Hawaii: House of Blues After Democrat Sweep

by David Banks, Cades Schutte LLP

In Hawaii, Democrats swept their three congressional races while also returning a Democrat to the gubernatorial seat. Neil Abercrombie, the 10-term U.S. representative for the state’s First Congressional District, replaced two-term Republican Governor Linda Lingle.

Not only did Abercrombie beat out Lieutenant Governor James “Duke” Aiona for the state’s top executive seat, but Aiona will also be replaced as lieutenant governor. Former Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz will take over that post on December 6.

Abercrombie’s decision to run for governor also resulted in the vacancy of his congressional seat. Though many thought that Republican Charles Djou, who was elected to fill the seat in the interim, had a chance to beat Colleen Hanabusa, the Democratic contender won by six percentage points.

Both Djou and Hanabusa received incredible mainland financial support throughout the election.

David Banks is editor of Hawaii Employment Law Letter and an attorney with Cades Schutte LLP in Honolulu. He can be reached at (808) 521-9200.