Democrats Have Huge Cash Advantage Over GOP In House Races

Friends of Jeremy Low

Democrats running for the Hawaii House this fall have outraised their Republican opponents by a 4-to-1 margin.

The latest candidate filings with the state Campaign Spending Commission shows the combined campaign contributions that have gone to majority party candidates total more than $1.2 million.

Combined, Republicans have raised just over $320,000.

A handful of GOP candidates have actually managed to bring in more money than their Democrat opponents.

One Republican — beauty queen Tiffany Au, who is running against redistricted incumbent Scott Saiki for the District 26 seat (Downtown, Kakaako, McCully) — has largely kept pace in terms of fundraising.

But most of the 32 Republicans running in the Nov. 6 general election trail their 32 Democrat counterparts by large amounts.

Rep. Marcus Oshiro, for example, has brought in $80,814 this election cycle, compared with zero cash — that's right, zero — reported raised by Republican Christopher Murphy. In fact, Murphy has already filed his spending report through next Tuesday, since there is practically nothing to report.

A good bet: Oshiro will easily win re-election to his District 46 seat (Wahiawa, Whitmore, Poamoho).

Four other Republican House candidates also reported raising no money.

Meanwhile, the top-ranking Democrat in the House, Speaker Calvin Say, reports having raised $173,027, and he's got $126,175 in cash on hand.

Say is one of several lawmakers targeted for defeat by the Sierra Club of Hawaii because of the group's opposition to the Public Land Development Corporation. The environmental group showed its political muscle when it helped Rep. Jessica Wooley defeat Rep. Pono Chong — Say's top lieutenant — in the primary.

But Wooley and Chong were running in a reapportioned district, and neither has held elective office for very long. Say has represented the Palolo, St. Louis Heights and Kaimuki area since 1976.

Say's opponents, Republican Julia Allen and Green Party candidate Keiko Bonk, have raised just $1,375 and $23,195, respectively. Bonk recently loaned her campaign $6,326 and currently reports a $14,564 deficit.

Needless to say, if Bonk manages to knock the speaker from his high perch, it will be an historic — and improbable — victory.

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