Gubernatorial Nominees Quickly Shift Focus To General Election
HONOLULU (AP) _ Lt. Gov. John Waihee claimed to be riding the crest of a wave after he won the Democratic nomination for governor, while Republican nominee D.G Anderson said he’s the new face in a race against the old guard.
″You’re looking at the new Hawaii,″ Waihee told supporters after a victory Saturday, unexpected by pollsters, over former U.S. Rep. Cec Heftel. ″We are at the peak of a wave.″
Waihee carried the support but not the formal endorsement of Democratic Gov. George R. Ariyoshi, the 12-year incumbent prevented by state law from seeking another consecutive elected term.
Anderson, former state senator and one-time Honolulu city managing director, easily defeated three other candidates for the GOP nomination. He wasted no time in portraying Waihee as part of the old guard in state politics.
″It’s us against the machine,″ Anderson said. ″New people and new ideas versus the old gang.″
A Honolulu newspaper poll published six days before Saturday’s primary election showed Waihee trailing Heftel by 21 percentage points. Waihee claimed the figures were outdated.
In final results, Waihee had 105,579 votes or 45.4 percent, to Heftel’s 83,939 or 36.1 percent. Former U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink was a distant third with 37,998 votes or 16.3 percent, and four other Democrats picked up the remaining votes.
On the Republican side, Anderson held 38,790 votes or 94.6 percent, compared to Wayne Thiessen’s 1,277 votes or 3.1 percent. Two other candidates had less than 1,000 votes each.
Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye ran unopposed, and will face Republican Frank Hutchinson in the November election. Hutchinson is a retired Marine Corps major who beat Waikiki pedicab driver Marvin Franklin in the GOP primary. In the race for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House seat representing urban Honolulu, Mufi Hannemann defeated state Sen. Neil Abercrombie by slightly more than 1,000 votes of the 121,000 cast.
Abercrombie had defeated Hannemann in a special election to complete the unexpired term of former Rep. Heftel, who resigned during the summer to run for governor.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Daniel Akaka and his Republican opponent Maria Hustace each ran unopposed in their respective primaries.