Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hawai'i Governor Race

Race of the Day
August 13, 2006
86 Days Until Election Day

Hawai'i Governor
Status: Republican Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Blue State (West)

Outlook: Likely Republican

In 2002, Linda Lingle became the first Republican Governor of Hawai'i elected in over 40 years. It was somewhat of a surprise to some to see the traditionally Democrat Aloha State elect a white, Jewish, single, female Republican Governor, especially after she lost a race for that office in 1998 which many expected her to win. The economic uncertainties in Hawai'i were enough though four years later for voters to take a chance on the GOP and since that time, Lingle has proven to be very popular and can point to a list of accomplishments that included th estate being cited as having the lowest joblessness rate in America.

The Democrat nature of Hawai'i and the non-white majority status of the state means thatLingle should probably not be considered completely safe this year against an Asian-Pacific opponent but she does appear to be a very solid favorite for reelection.

Several prominent Democrats passed on the opportunity to make the race, including Hawai’i County Mayor Harry Kim, who declined shortly before the filing deadline. The party’s candidate is now almost certain to be former State Senator Randy Iwase, who is considered a second-tier candidate.

Most of the political action in Hawai’i will be geared towards an extremely competitive Democrat U.S. Senate primary, which features an incumbent is being challenged by a Congressman, and the race to succeed that Congressman. After the September primary, the general elections in the state, including the race for Governor, might be considered somewhat of an anti-climax.

Linda Lingle's record in office, her personable nature, moderate politics, along with a political environment that typically tends to favor incumbents in the state indicates that Hawai'i is likely to see four more years of Republican mahalo in Honolulu.

Lingle campaign link:

2006 Governor Races predicted thus far: 2 D, 8 R
Post-election total of Governors predicted thus far: 10 D, 14 R