Hirono Trounces Case, Sets Sights On Lingle

John Hook for Civil Beat

UPDATED AT 11 P.M.

Mazie Hirono handily defeated Ed Case by a margin of 57-40 percent in the Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate, according to the voting results released late Saturday.

Final results will be made available early Sunday, but this race is over.

"On behalf of our kupuna, our keiki, our middle class families who need a Senator on their side — I'm proud to be your nominee for the United States Senate," Hirono said in her acceptance speech.

Hirono already has her sights on Linda Lingle, the Republican she now faces in the general election.

Her campaign will continue to focus on protecting Social Security and Medicare, opposing tax cuts that favor the wealthy and retaining control of the Senate for Democrats.

"Whatever you may think of Linda Lingle — know that this is what her election would represent — one of the four seats the national Republicans need to take control of the U.S. Senate," she said.

"So I say to Linda Lingle tonight — let's go. Let's have debates on the issues and what is right for Hawaii – on every major television station in our state."

Case, the former U.S. representative, conceded after the second batch of results was released. The trend that had him behind by double-digits continued throughout the night.

"That road I talked about earlier tonight, that road just ended," Case told his supporters.

He thanked them for their help and said that he hoped Hirono would represent the Democratic Party well.

"I'm so sorry we couldn't deliver a win tonight," he said. "This isn't the end. This isn't the end of our dreams together. This isn't the end."

Lingle had a whopping 90 percent to 6 percent lead over main Republican primary challenger John Carroll.

"The people of Hawaii now have a clear choice in this once-in-a-generation election," said Lingle. "This race is important because the opportunity to elect a new senator from our state is so rare, and because of the unprecedented challenges facing our country. Our way of life is being threatened because of the failure of D.C. politicians like my opponent. They failed Hawaii and they failed America. She failed us."

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