House races

DCCC pulls out of Hawaii special election

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of the Hawaii special election for Rep. Neil Abercrombie’s (D) seat, effectively handing the seat to the Republicans.

“The DCCC will not be investing additional resources in the (Hawaii) special election,” Jennifer Crider, a DCCC spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Local Democrats were unable to work out their differences. The DCCC will save the resources we would have invested in the Hawaii special election this month for the general election in November.”

The committee concluded there’s no way state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa and former Rep. Ed Case (Hawaii) can split the Democratic vote and still defeat Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R).

The committee spent more than $300,000 in the Hawaii race, according to a source.

The National Republican Congressional Committee said the DCCC’s involvement revealed a local party “in disarray.”

is giving up in a district as blue as this one due to their own blunders and a
fed-up constituency that rejected their reckless agenda of higher taxes,
negligent spending and government takeovers,”Joanna
Burgos, an NRCC spokeswoman, said in a statement. President Barack Obama won the district with 70 percent in 2008.

Hanabusa has been in third place in most polls of the
three-way contest. National Democrats were sending the message to step
aside through Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and his staff, according
to the Honolulu Advertiser.

But the Hanabusa camp seemed to hint she was staying in the race to
help her chances in November.

A local strategist close to Hanabusa told the paper the campaign has heard the message
to step aside for the interest of the party.

“It has not fallen on deaf ears,” the strategist said. “But we understand
our community better than anybody and, come November, there will be a Democrat

The special election is Saturday, May 22nd, and is a winner-take-all-format. Abercrombie resigned his seat to run for governor. 

Democrats had been on a winning streak when it came to special elections. Now, the party can concentrate on next Tuesday’s special election for former Rep. John Murtha’s (D-Pa.). seat.

— This post was updated at 12:32 p.m.

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