2014 elections review:Incumbent advances in Hawaii Senate race

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August 16, 2014

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

Hawaii

After tropical storms in Hawaii forced two precincts to close polls during the August 9, 2014, primary election, a rescheduled primary election was held yesterday for voters in those precincts to cast their ballots in person for the Democratic nominee in the Senate election.[1][2][3]

U.S. Senate

See also: United States Senate special election in Hawaii, 2014

Hawaii will hold a special election for the U.S. Senate in 2014. The special election will be held to fill the vacancy left by the death of Senator Daniel Inouye (D).[4]

Incumbent Brian Schatz won the Democratic primary by less than a one percent margin of victory over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.[5] Heading into the rescheduled primary election, Schatz led Hanabusa by less than 1,700 votes.[6]

Following the initial primary election date on August 9, 2014, Hanabusa warned of voting “irregularities” in precincts crippled by a massive tropical storm and said she planned to speak with campaign lawyers about a potential ramifications.[7]

Although much of the focus of the Democratic primary was on two precincts in the Big Island’s Puna District where polls were closed because of the storm, Hanabusa’s comments hinted at the impact in surrounding communities, where polls were open but some voters were unable to leave their homes.[7]

After an August 15, 2014, special election date was announced for two precincts that closed due to the extensive storm damage, Colleen Hanabusa filed a lawsuit aimed at postponing the election until after clean-up efforts can be completed and including voters outside the two precincts who were unable to safely make it to the polls.[8] The request for a delay in the make-up date was denied.[9]

Incumbent Brian Schatz is a favorite for the general election in the heavily Democratic state.[10] Schatz will face businessman and former state Representative Cam Cavasso (R) in the general election.[11]

U.S. Senate, Hawaii Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Schatz Incumbent 49.3% 115,445
Colleen Hanabusa 48.6% 113,663
Brian Evans 2.1% 4,842
Total Votes 233,950
Source: Hawaii Office of Elections

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