You are currently viewing It’s election day in Hawaii, where the focus is on the Democratic gubernatorial primary

It’s election day in Hawaii, where the focus is on the Democratic gubernatorial primary

There is a crowded group of Democrats vying to succeed Democratic-limited Governor David Ige, including Democratic Representative Kai Kahele, who joined the race after announcing earlier this year that he would be leaving Congress at the end of the Mandate, freeing one of the Aloha States. two seats in Congress.

Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Josh Green and former Hawaii First Lady Vicky Cayetano are also vying for the Democratic governorship in a state ruled by party leadership for more than a decade.

During a July debate, Green, a former ER doctor who served in the Hawaii State House and Senate, called out Kahele for serving a term in Congress and then retiring to return to Hawaii and running for governor, the Times reported Hawaii News Now.
Kahele, who was elected in 2020 to replace Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, came under fire earlier this year for his part-time job as a commercial pilot for Hawaiian Airlines, raising questions whether he was in breach the rules of ethics to continue his work. with the airline.
Questions about Kahele’s work with Hawaiian Airlines arose after the Honolulu Civil Beat ran an in-depth story about her attendance at the United States Capitol this year and her personal earnings since taking office. The report revealed Kahele had voted by proxy at least 120 times from the start of the year to early April, meaning another lawmaker voted for him.

Kahele’s office at the time defended her part-time job with Hawaiian Airlines and said her decision to vote by proxy was driven by concerns about novel coronavirus variants, given that the congressman lives in a multi-generational family home. His office said he remains committed to his job in Washington, DC.

Kahele’s retirement from the House leaves the state’s 2nd congressional district seat open. The top-funded candidate is former Democratic Senator Jill Tokuda, who was endorsed by the Progressive Caucus PAC and EMILY’s slate. State Representative Patrick Branco, a former US diplomat, is also a candidate for the Democratic nomination. Republican Joe Webster, who calls himself “a Republican like you’ve never met before” and is vying for the GOP nomination in the strong Democratic district.

Democratic Rep. Ed Case, who represents Hawaii’s 1st congressional district, and Senator Brian Schatz, who has held his seat since 2012, are up for re-election.

Polls in Hawaii close at 7 p.m. local time (1 a.m. EST). All registered Hawaiian voters receive an absentee ballot. Mail-in ballots are expected when the polls close on August 13.

CNN’s Melanie Zanona, Daniella Diaz, Sonnet Swire, Annie Grayer and Alex Rogers contributed to this report.

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