Two veteran politicians are vying for the Congressional District One seat to represent urban Honolulu. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka profiles the Democratic candidate.
Former Congressman and state representative Ed Case is sign waving in Pearl City, the same spot he campaigned from in 2012. But this time it’s different. He beat six other Democratic contenders in the Primary Election and is headed to the General Election with a big lead.
“My number one priority is to find the critical mass inside the United States House of Representatives that believes, as I do, that we need to do this a little bit differently. You know, there’s so much yelling and screaming there right now. So much division. So much bitterness. Whether you want to talk about immigration or the economy or healthcare or Social Security and Medicare preservation. Every single one of these issues has critical and urgent decisions to be made and yet, Washington is not making those decisions.”
Case walked the entire 1st Congressional District -- 62 miles -- from Makapu’u to the top of Mililani Mauka to Kahe Point. Case, says he intends to represent all of the people of CD-one.
“My responsibility includes making sure my constituents – the 750-thousand people I directly represent – understand what the issues are that I’m dealing with. I’m a Democrat and proud of it but that doesn’t mean I only represent Democrats. I obviously represent many people who are not Democrats. I’m responsible for representing everybody as well as I can.”
It’s been nearly a dozen years since Case was in Congress representing the 2nd District. Since then, he lost 2 major races and dropped out of one. But, he says, he carries all of the lessons learned, win or lose. And, through it all, his strongest allies have been with him.
“My family has just stood with me, just throughout. I mean, I choke up just taking about it, but ‘um, you know, this is a family that has been in Hawai’i for generations. We have believed in Hawai’i, we’ve given back to Hawai’i throughout, whether it be education, or business or nonprofit or government or politics. We believe that we have an obligation to give back to Hawai’i.”
Case won the Democratic Primary with 47-thousand votes, 17-thousand more than his closest Democratic rival and 3 times more than his Republican challengers combined. But, as he’s done in the past, Case will not claim victory.
“Yes, it’s Bachi. It is taking voters for granted and I’m not going to say that. I’m asking folks for their vote. And, regardless of whether you win or not, but, if you do win a campaign like this, it’s empowering. You go into office with a confidence that you know what folks want and that you have their support and that empowers you to make, I think, the right decisions.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.