LIHU‘E — Ed Case and his wife Audrey launched his Kaua‘i campaign for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Dan Akaka next year.
A crowd of some 50 to 75 supporters gathered Sunday for the event.
Dean Toyofuku and Louie Abrams, both longtime acquaintances of Case, will be his Kaua‘i campaign heads. The pair were grilling chicken for lunch at the War Memorial Convention Hall where the announcement was made.
“I’ve known these gentlemen and Audrey when I met them in the seventh grade,” Case said. “We’re all classmates and I’ve known them since then.”
He said this campaign for the U.S. Senate seat is crucial for him because a senator’s responsibility is not only for the country, but decisions made in Congress have impacts here in Hawai‘i and Kaua‘i, noting the example of the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Mana.
PMRF is one of the largest employers on Kaua‘i and if it should shut down, residents would feel the impact, he said.
The economy is at the top of his list of priorities along with protecting the environment, not just in Hawai‘i or the nation, but globally. He also listed veterans care and other federal programs as priorities.
Agriculture is another major area of concern for Case, noting the heritage it has in Hawai‘i.
“My family worked for the Grove Farm Company and I have a heritage in agriculture,” Case said. “Agriculture has a future. There are some people who have written off agriculture, but we can grow food, not only for ourselves, but for parts of the world. We can also grow for energy.”
Case said his decision to run for Senate was based on several reasons, one being for the future generations of the people of Hawai‘i.
“When I was in service in Congress, when I did a bad job, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, one of the most senior senators, was there to pick up after me,” Case said. “I wish him a long term of service, but we need to think about when there is no one there to pick up the slack.”
Case said the next generation — children who will be of age and have families, the middle class who will be kupuna — need leaders, he said.
“Today’s Washington pits politics against people,” Case said in a newsletter to supporters when he announced his candidacy in April. “We need efficient government.”
Case, in his August newsletter, said Merriman River Group, for Honolulu Civil Beat online news, did some of the most accurate polling in Hawai‘i’s 2010 elections.
He utilized Merriman for a statewide poll of registered voters to see where he stood a year from the U.S. Senate primary election.
Merriman’s summary in Case’s August newsletter indicates the Case campaign is ahead of Mazie Hirono in the Democratic Party primary race, 53 percent to 37 percent, and ahead of presumed Republican candidate Linda Lingle, former Hawai‘i governor, in the General Election race, 48 percent to 38 percent. The poll also indicates Lingle, who has only expressed interest in the race at this point, ahead of Hirono in the General Election, 48 percent to 43 percent.
Encouraged by the poll, Case said he launched his statewide grassroots campaign by opening his new headquarters on O‘ahu and following that with a six-day road trip which ended last weekend on Kaua‘i.
Visit www.edcase.com for more information.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.