Hawaii governor loses Democratic primary

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Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) has lost his primary to state Sen. David Ige (D).

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The Associated Press called the race for Ige, who was leading Abercrombie by 67 to 32 percent. 

Abercrombie is the first incumbent governor to lose a primary this year, and the first since 2010 to do so.

The former congressman had faced sagging approval ratings as he sparred with Democratic state legislators about budget priorities and education funding.

Ige capitalized on unhappiness with his leadership and his decision to appoint his lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz (D), to the Senate instead of Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), despite a deathbed request by beloved Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) that she replace him.

Ige will face former Hawaii Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona (R) and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (I) in the general election.

Democratic Governors Association Chairman and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) thanked Abercrombie for his work in office before attacking Aiona, tying him to his former running mate, former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R).

"The last thing the people of Hawaii need now is to go back to the failed Republican policies of the Lingle-Aiona administration. On their watch, unemployment surged to the highest level in a quarter century, a $732 million surplus was turned into a $1 billion deficit, and Furlough Fridays gave the state the shortest school year in the nation," he said in a statement. "David Ige won't allow that to happen again. He will lead in the tradition of strong Democratic governors who are working every day to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and expand economic opportunity to all."

This post was updated at 2:20 a.m.

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