The Fix: Hawaii

Another race-tinted showdown in Hawaii

Another race-tinted showdown in Hawaii

News broke late Monday that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) would challenge appointed Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in a primary in 2014.

It should surprise no one.

The Hawaii Democratic Party has a long history of primaries split along racial lines, with contests often coming down to an Asian-American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander candidate and a white one, referred to as "haole" in Hawaiian. And if it wasn't Hanabusa challenging Schatz, it was likely to be another Asian-American Democrat, because Asian candidates often win in a state that is just 26 percent white.

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Neil Abercrombie's head-scratcher

Neil Abercrombie's head-scratcher

On paper, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) was the clear favorite to become the next senator from Hawaii.

When it comes to appointments, though, paper doesn't matter; the will of a sitting governor — and nobody else — does.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) surprised a lot of people Wednesday when he selected his lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, over Hanabusa for the seat of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii).

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Gov. Abercrombie to appoint Inouye's replacement

Gov. Abercrombie to appoint Inouye's replacement

Sen. Daniele Inouye's (D-Hawaii) replacement will be selected by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) from a field of three candidates provided by the state party.

Hawaii, like most states, does not require a special election soon after a vacancy occurs in its U.S. Senate delegation. Instead, Inouye's appointed replacement will serve until 2014, at which point a special election will determine who serves the final two years of Inouye's term.

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Hawaii Senate primary: Which poll to believe?

Hawaii Senate primary: Which poll to believe?

The matchup for Hawaii’s open Senate seat will officially be set Saturday, when the state holds its Democratic Senate primary.

And depending on which poll you believe, it’s either going to be a barn-burner or a blowout.

Former congressman Ed Case is challenging Rep. Mazie Hirono for the right to face Republican former governor Linda Lingle in the general election, and he’s long been the underdog. Hirono had the unofficial backing of the national Democratic Party, raised tons more money than Case did, leans further left than Case does, and according to some polls, she carries a double-digit lead into Saturday’s election.

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Former governor Linda Lingle to run for Senate in Hawaii

Former governor Linda Lingle to run for Senate in Hawaii

Updated at 1:00 p.m.

Republicans have landed their top recruit in the open Hawaii Senate race, with former governor Linda Lingle entering the race and giving the GOP a chance to win in a heavily Democratic state.

Lingle announced her intentions during an interview with KSSK-AM radio shortly before 1 p.m. eastern time.

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