Case makes political comeback by winning Hawaii House primary


Former Rep. Ed Case is projected to win the Democratic primary for Hawaii’s 1st District, marking a political comeback after being out of office for more than a decade.

Case won the primary with 40.2 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press. He defeated five other Democrats in the race to replace Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who’s vacating her seat to run in Hawaii’s gubernatorial race. The Honolulu-area seat is the only majority Asian district in the country.

{mosads}Case, a white lawmaker who previously represented Hawaii’s 2nd District, has been a frequent candidate for both federal and statewide positions.

After serving in the state legislature for eight years, he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002. He won a special election to Congress in 2002 and served until 2007 when he retired to run unsuccessfully for Senate. Case made another failed bid for the Senate in 2010.

The former congressman was part of the Blue Dog coalition, which is made up of more moderate Democratic lawmakers. Case’s likely return to Congress would come at a time when the caucus is growing more progressive as the liberal and moderate wings of the party battle to set the direction for the Democratic Party.

Case faced his toughest challenges from Hawaii Lt. Gov. Doug Chin and former state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim.

Chin, who was appointed lieutenant governor in February, gained national recognition as attorney general for suing the Trump administration over every version of the travel ban. Trump announced his initial ban a week after taking office in late January 2017 and Hawaii sued shortly after that.

Mercado Kim, who’s been a state senator for 18 years, led the pack as the top fundraiser. She’s also held a number of local elected positions, including serving on the Honolulu City Council for 14 years.

Case also defeated state Rep. Kaniela Ing, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who ran on a platform of single-payer health care and free college tuition.

Ing had gotten a boost from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist who pulled off a massive primary upset against a longtime incumbent in New York. She campaigned with Ing in the days ahead of Saturday’s primary.

Case will face off against Cam Cavasso (R), after he emerged as the winner of the Republican primary. But Case will be the overwhelming favorite in the November election, since the 1st District is a solidly Democratic seat that Hillary Clinton won by more than 30 points in 2016.

Tags Colleen Hanabusa Hillary Clinton

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