Gabbard Completes Upset By Crushing Hannemann

Brian Tseng/Civil Beat

Last updated 11:55 p.m. Saturday

First-term Honolulu City Council member Tulsi Gabbard defeated former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and four others in the race for the Democratic Party nomination for Hawaii's vacant 2nd Congressional District seat.

Gabbard was up 54 percent to 34 percent for Hannemann late Saturday night, with all 135 precincts reporting.

"You're going to hear me say this many times tonight, you're going to hear me say this many times in the future, and it is about serving the people," Gabbard said in her victory speech at a Blaisdell conference room shortly after 10 p.m.

She dedicated her victory to those serving in the armed forces overseas, saying their sacrifices make it possible for us to celebrate democracy here at home.

Hannemann conceded the race about a half hour earlier at a rally with supporters in Kalihi. He had spent much of the afternoon and evening on Maui, and was actually in transit when the first results emerged, showing him down double digits.

"Tonight is a night perhaps that we weren't looking forward to," he said. "I'm a person of faith, I'm a person of prayer. The Holy Father said tonight this is not the mission for Mufi Hannemann. I'm willing to accept that. I think that when you lose, you win some you lose some. And you just go through life and you recognize that."

Gabbard will be heavily favored in a matchup against Republican nominee David Kawika Crowley in the general election in November. Crowley beat Matt DiGeronimo after the fourth printout, 45.1 percent to 28.9 percent. Less than 20,000 Republican ballots were pulled in the district versus more than 110,000 Democratic ballots.

Rounding out the Democratic field were former Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief advocate Esther Kiaaina with 6 percent, Big Island lawyer Bob Marx with 4 percent and health care attorney Rafael Del Castillo and Vietnam veteran Miles Shiratori each with less than 1 percent.

Have feedback? Suggestions?