Hawaii Democrat Case wins reelection to House

  • People line up to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

HONOLULU — Democrat Ed Case of Hawaii has won win reelection to the U.S. House.

Case defeated Republican Ron Curtis for a second term representing Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, which includes urban Honolulu. Democrats hold all of the state’s elected federal offices, the governor’s office and control supermajorities in the state House and Senate.

Case was first elected to the seat to represent urban Honolulu in 2018. He represented Hawaii’s other congressional district from 2002 to 2007 and served in the state House from 1994 to 2002.

He has been an attorney for Outrigger Hotels and worked at multiple law firms.

Curtis is a retired engineer. He ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate against U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono in 2018.

Democrat Kai Kahele won the Hawaii House seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The state senator had been heavily favored to defeat Republican businessman and former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst Joe Akana.

Gabbard, also a Democrat, did not run for reelection to the seat representing the 2nd Congressional District, which includes suburban Honolulu, rural Oahu and Hawaii’s other islands. She instead chose to focus her energy on an ultimately unsuccessful campaign for president.

Kahele is pilot for Hawaiian Airlines and the Hawaii Air National Guard. He has served in the state Senate since 2016.

Races for two U.S. House seats topped the ballot on Tuesday in Hawaii.

Kahele is the second Native Hawaiian to serve in Congress since statehood. The seat represents suburban Honolulu and islands other than Oahu.

Kahele is an advocate of Medicare for All and supports the idea of a Green New Deal to address climate change and help Hawaii meet its clean energy goals. He has served in the state Senate since 2016, when he was first appointed to fill the remainder of his father’s term after he died. He was elected for the first time later that year.

Akana is a former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst and businessman. He has a master’s degree in business administration from Hawaii Pacific University and a master’s degree in strategic intelligence from National Intelligence University.

He has been an attorney for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts and worked at multiple law firms.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden won Hawaii’s four electoral votes in the presidential election. The Democratic nominee defeated Republican President Donald Trump Tuesday.

Biden was expected to win the heavily Democratic state. Biden served eight years as vice president for Hawaii-born President Barack Obama. The last time a Republican presidential candidate won Hawaii was in 1984, when the islands voted to reelect Ronald Reagan to a second term.

Autumn Goerts, a Democrat from Honolulu, voted for Biden.

“I believe that if Trump’s isolationist policies continue, we’re not going to have advocacy for peace between nations,” Goerts said.

Honolulu resident Blair Cabaluna, who voted for Trump, said he cast his ballot for righteousness.

“And I stood up for the principles that I grew up as a Christian believer. So that’s why I vote Republican,” said Cabaluna, who owns a cleaning business.

Tuesday’s ballot marked Hawaii’s first all-mail general election.

As of Monday, more than 526,000 people had voted — a figure 20% higher than the total election turnout four years ago. That is a record for the number of people who have voted in a Hawaii election. The previous record was marked in 2008, when 456,064 people voted the year Obama was first elected president.

Hawaii voters have also had the option of casting their ballots in person at a select few voter service centers in the weeks leading up to the election. Only about 19,000 people voted this way as of Monday.

Democratic Gov. David Ige signed legislation switching the state to a vote-by-mail system last year before the coronavirus pandemic struck. Hawaii was the fifth state to adopt all-mail voting after Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington.


Associated Press journalist Caleb Jones contributed to this report.


Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.


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