Incumbent Shan Tsutsui defeated state Sen. Clayton Hee in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, 50.8 percent to 34.1 percent, as of 3:35 a.m. Sunday morning.
Former television reporter Mary Zanakis was third with 7.6 percent.
Miles Shiratori and Sam Puletasi trailed far behind.
In the Republican primary, New Hope Pastor Elwin Ahu led businessman Kimo Sutton 62.8 percent to 26 percent.
Libertarian candidate Cynthia “Lahi” Marlin and Hawaii Independent Party candidate Les Chang ran unopposed in the primary and will advance to the general election.
Tsutsui, the former state Senate president, became lieutenant governor in December 2012 following Brian Schatz’s appointment to the U.S. Senate.
He has not had a high profile in the Abercrombie administration, but he has proved an adept campaign fundraiser. His television commercials were well-produced and played up Tsutsui’s role as a family man with a name that is difficult to pronounce.
Hee, chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Labor committee, has been active in Hawaii politics for more that three decades.
Among his most recent accomplishments, the senator representing Windward and North Shore Oahu is credited with pushing legislation in 2013 to legalize same-sex marriage and to increase the minimum wage this year.
Hee had said he wanted to transform the LG’s office into an influential post, taking on issues that may not rise to the governor’s level.
He has criticized Tsutsui for having few accomplishments, avoiding debates and doubling the cost of the office by relocating it to Tsutsui’s home island of Maui.
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