Colleen Hanabusa won't back out of race for congress

May 5, 2010

Standing up to pressure from within her own political party, democratic candidate Colleen Hanabusa says she won’t back out of the race for congress.

Her reaffirmation comes after national democrats warned the seat could be lost to a republican if she and the other top democrat contender continue to split the party vote.

What had been simmering for months reached a full boil this week — national democratic party and even white house warnings to hawaii that losing a house seat to republicans is likely if ed case and Colleen Hanabusa continue to split the democratic vote. Among the options they floated was to get Hanabusa out of the way.

“I don’t know how else to respond but to just say this: I’m in this race until the end, and i’m in this race to win,” says Sen. Colleen Hanabusa.

Senator Dan Inouye told KHON2: “I want Ms. Hanabusa to win. We need her fighting for Hawaii in Congress.”

This after months of behind-the-scenes maneuvers by national democrats trying to sway him and other influential Hanabusa supporters to get behind the candidate they think is more electable instead.

It’s a message Hanabusa says the party never delivered directly to her, nor was a poll and memo the DNC and white house circulated earlier this week stating only case had a shot against Djou.

“I wish they would discuss it with me or would’ve told me first. i wonder why they would release it to all of you and not release it to me.”

“I’m not sure what motivates them other than maybe a seat, just having another seat, so for me, i think the one thing it will backfire on is i am no longer the great insider as they accuse me of doing.”

Following the announcement, Washington’s democratic congressional campaign committee said it will stick with its candidate-neutral advertising strategy for the duration of the race — an endorsement of one or the other isn’t in the cards they say.

“The focus has always been about Charles Djou’s record, making sure voters know about it, and then also making sure the democrats send in their ballots,” says Andrew Stone.

According to the office of elections, fewer than one fifth of the ballots have been sent back in by voters. Just 60,000 so far out of the 317,000 issued. So it’s still anyone’s race. The due date is May 22nd.

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