Republicans Capture House Seat in Obama’s Hometown

Oddly enough, I think that this was the 1st special election for a House seat that the Republicans had won since Obama was inaugurated, I believe they were 0 for 7 in that category before then, despite Scott Brown having captured a Senate seat in a special election. Hopefully the GOP can hold on this particular House seat, because this guy must run to keep it again in November.

Republicans Capture House Seat in Obama’s Hometown

  In this Friday, May 14, 2009 picture, Hawaii State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, left, former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, center, both Democrats and Republican Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, right, embrace each other after patricipating in a debate at the KHON2 television studios in Honolulu. (AP)

HONOLULU  — Republicans scored a midterm election victory Saturday when Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou won a Democratic-held House seat in Hawaii in the district where President Obama grew up — the latest triumph for the GOP as it looks to take back control of Congress.

Djou’s victory was a blow to Obama and other Democrats who could not rally around a candidate and find away to win a congressional race that should have been a cakewalk. The seat had been held by a Democrat for nearly 20 years and is located in the district where Obama was born and spent most of his childhood.

“This is a momentous day. We have sent a message to the United States Congress. We have sent a message to the national Democrats. We have sent a message to the machine,” Djou said. “The congressional seat is not owned by one political party. This congressional seat is owned by the people.”

Djou received 67,274 votes, or 39.5 percent. He was trailed by state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat who received 52,445 votes, or 30.8 percent. The other leading Democrat, former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, received 47,012 votes, or 27.6 percent.

Republicans see the victory as a powerful statement about their momentum heading into November. They already sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts — a place that was once thought to be the most hostile of territories for the GOP. Now Republicans can say they won a congressional seat in the former backyard of the president and in a state that gave Obama 72 percent of the vote two years ago.

“Charles’ victory is evidence his conservative message of lowering the tax burden, job creation and government accountability knows no party lines. It is a message Americans want to hear from candidates across the country,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

But Democrats believe the success in Hawaii will be short-lived. Djou will only serve through the remainder of 2010, and another election will be held in November for the next term. Democrats are confident they can topple Djou in November because the vote won’t be split among several candidates, as it was Saturday.

Djou, 39, enjoyed solid support from state and national Republicans and ran a disciplined campaign focused on taxes and government spending at a time when Hawaii’s tourism-driven economy remains troubled, with the state facing a $1 billion deficit, large cuts to state programs and workers and an unemployment rate that has nearly doubled in the last three years.

In contrast, Democrats bickered over whether Case or Hanabusa was the strongest candidate for their party, and the situation got so bad that Obama and national party leaders weren’t able to endorse one contender. Instead, they aired television ads and made automated telephone calls that asked voters to chose “a Democrat.”

Djou will replace Democratic Rep. Daniel Abercrombie, who resigned after 10 terms to run for governor.

At one point, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee appeared ready to throw its support to Case, the cousin of AOL co-founder Steve Case.

That was until Hawaii’s influential senior senator, Democrat Daniel Inouye, made it clear Hanabusa was his choice. He has scorned Case since the then-congressman ran against Hawaii’s other senator, Democrat Daniel Akaka, in the 2006 primary.

In contrast, Djou enjoyed solid support from local and national Republicans, who funneled money to his campaign but took a much lower profile than their Democratic counterparts.

He burnished his conservative bona fides during the campaign, making appearances at Hawaii’s tea party protest and on Fox News Channel for an interview with host Sean Hannity.

His message was clear: Taxes are too high, the federal government has grown too large, and wasteful government spending hinders economic prosperity.

Djou, the son of Asian immigrants, joined the Army Reserve after Sept. 11 and obtained the rank of captain. He has an Ivy League education and a law degree, served in the state Legislature and worked as a law school professor.

Djou’s next political challenge will be in the November general election, when he will face only one Democratic nominee. That candidate will be chosen in the September primary election.

Democrats have expressed certainty that Djou will not be able to repeat in November when he will face a single Democratic candidate in the left-leaning district.

The likely candidates for the party will again be Hanabusa and Case. Hanabusa is a fourth-generation American of Japanese ancestry whose grandparents worked on a plantation and were interned by the U.S. government during World War II. Case, 57, is the oldest of six children and the cousin of AOL co-founder Steve Case.

Djou will be the first Republican to represent Hawaii in Congress since Rep. Pat Saiki left office in 1991.

The election was being conducted entirely by mail. Eleven other candidates were on the ballot, but none of them had a serious chance of contending.

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12 Responses to Republicans Capture House Seat in Obama’s Hometown

  1. polarbear20 says:

    So what? Hawaii also has a Republican governor. And she doesn’t buy into that birther bullshit either.

    Besides these Republican victories are understandable. People are pissed off right now, and whenever the people are pissed off they mobilize, not always for good causes. Come November cooler heads will prevail and people will vote their pocketbook and the President who is currently fixing(a little slow, but fixing) the economy. Not the same deregulate and eviscerate(social programs) people who got us into this mess in the first place.

  2. Hacksaw says:

    A U.S. President does not “fix” the Nation’s economy by spending more money in his first year alone than every one of his 42 predecessors combined, spanning more than 200 years of the country’s entire history…

    The Democrats will likely recapture this particular seat in November though, when the vote will not be split between several different candidates but Nationwide, I really like the GOP’s prospects for taking back control of Congress because the majority of Americans have had enough of this socialist style of “change” & appeasement, and we’re just ready for the adults to be put back in charge.

    • polarbear20 says:

      It takes money to fix stuff. You buy a shitty old house with no windows and plumbing, you betcha it’s gonna take money, alot, to fix it. That’s what this country is—a shitty old house. Bush and Cheney were the tenants from hell. Now Obama’s gotta fix it, and that ain’t cheap!!

      we’re just ready for the adults to be put back in charge.

      I had a shitty day and needed a good chuckle. Thanks for that man!!

      Because we all know the people who argue to teach fairy tales instead of science theory backed up by evidence are the “adults”. The half governor of Alaska who gets prescreened questions at speaking events and shakes her little fists at Dr. Maddow when she asks real questions, totally an adult. The teabagger candidate who after incorrectly calling the territory of Puerto Rico “another country” says “so what” to the facts when he is corrected, what an adult!!

      The GOP are anti-intellectual, space god believing dolts, not adults.

  3. Princess says:

    “and whenever the people are pissed off they mobilize, not always for good causes.” hmmmm sounds an awful lot like 2008………….mobilizing for the “ONE” which NOW most of them are starting to realize it was a HUGE mistake…..HUGE

    • polarbear20 says:

      I wouldn’t call it a huge mistake. More like “accidents happen”. That’s what I get for listening to FOX News. All I ever did leading up to the election was watch FOX News coverage. FOX News seemed almost certain that Barack Obama was a socialist. They loved to say that all the time. Now me, since I am a socialist, I heard that, and I know what a “trusted news source” FOX is!, I knew who I was voting for.

      Last time I ever listen to FOX!! Obama isn’t a socialist, he’s a MODERATE DEMOCRAT, a CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRAT. Or sometimes an extremely LIBERAL REPUBLICAN.

      You should elect me president. Things would be better. 😀

      • Hacksaw says:

        You view Obama as a “conservative Democrat”? In what way, I ask. He may have talked like a conservative during the campaign in order to get elected, but since he been in office, there is not 1 thing he’s done that could even remotely be considered as conservative, which is why the tea parties have gained so much steam and the public has rejected his policies in election after election since he was inaugurated. Most of America now knows & admits what was alleged during the campaign after his off the cuff remarks to Joe the Plumber, followed by recordings of some of his earlier statements – that he is indeed a socialist, or at a minimum, the most liberal person ever to get into the White House.

  4. HybridTalk says:

    Kawabunga Dude.

  5. myfoxmystere says:

    The Asian American Republicans worked hard to get Djou into office. This win was the result of hard work! I received countless emails and alerts about Djou, and many in the Asian American Republicans worked overtime. Djou however, is not quite a social conservative…he is a fiscal conservative. He may hold tight on the budget, but he will be a bit more moderate to liberal when it comes to social issues. There are some who have already gotten upset over Djou’s stances, but we’ll see what happens in November. Some have already called Djou a RINO.

  6. Hacksaw says:

    At this point a RINO is preferable to a Democrat, especially if they collectively provide the GOP with the number of seats needed to make John Boehner the Speaker, and send “San Fran Gran Nan” back to the left coast where she belongs!

    The allegedly conservative “blue dog” Democrats that got elected in massive numbers back in 2006 tipped the balance of power over to the loony left, so we need to shift it back and now is the time!

  7. myfoxmystere says:

    True Hacksaw, better to have a RINO over a mindless Donkey! RINOs at least have an instinct of how to defend themselves; Donkeys don’t – as seen in a National Geographic/PBS special! When Donkeys get attacked, they just bray; RINOs will at least charge back fiercely! (Hee Hee!)

  8. Princess says:

    “accidents happen” really? so it was an “accident” that that HACK got into office?
    please! an accident is “oops, i dropped the spoon”.
    this was a DELIBERATE act (voting IS) made by the huddle masses simply because they were stupid enough to “believe”.

  9. Hacksaw says:

    Rep. Barney Frank has become a “birther” now, requesting to see Charles Djou’s birth certificate:
    http://washingtonscene.thehill.com/in-the-know/36-news/4309-barney-frank-wants-to-see-rep-djous-birth-certificate

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