May 31st, 2010
08:44 AM ET
4 years ago

Case drops out of Hawaii battle

One of the Democrats vying in President Obama's childhood home has dropped out.
One of the Democrats vying in President Obama's childhood home has dropped out.

(CNN) - One of the two candidates in a Democratic party family feud that resulted in a rare Republican congressional victory in Hawaii says he's giving up his quest to return to the House of Representatives.

Former Rep. Ed Case announced Sunday that he's dropping his bid for the state's first congressional district, which the GOP captured in a special election nine days ago - the party's first win in a House or Senate election in Hawaii in nearly two decades.

"My heart tells me to stay in this fight, but my head says this has become the wrong fight," said Case, in an e-mail to supporters and in a statement on his campaign website.

National Democrats attempted, without success, to convince either Case or Hawaii State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa to drop out of the May 22 special election, held to fill the seat of former Rep. Neil Abercrombie, the longtime Democratic congressman who stepped down earlier this year to run for governor.

Both candidates stayed in the race, splitting the vote, and allowing Honolulu city councilman Charles Djou, a Republican, to capture the plurality of the only-winner take all contest with less than 40 percent of the vote. Hanabusa, considered the more liberal candidate, came in second and Case, the more moderate Democrat, finished third. Combined, they won 58 percent of the vote.

National Democratic Party organizations favored Case but did not formally endorse either of their party's candidates. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ran ads that criticized Djou. But earlier this month, after it was clear neither candidate would drop out, the DCCC stopped spending any more money or time on the race.

Djou now has to defend the seat in November, most likely against Hanabusa, who called Case's decision a "magnanimous gesture."

The seat includes Honolulu and some surrounding suburbs. President Barack Obama, who spent parts of his childhood in the district, won 70 percent of the vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Hawaii • Popular Posts
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Gil

    Nice to see that the Democratic Party family quarrel has been settled, hopefully to bring a win and prevent more NO's out of the Party of Nothing (republicans). Hopefully the Tea Party Movement will be death for the Patty of No once and forever!

    May 31, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. Mich

    How stupid can you be,,, refuse to get out of the race even though you know you are giving the seat away by doing so... to little to late...dumb politicians.

    May 31, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. JD

    Good to see more Dems dropping out of the race. . . there may be hope for this country yet. . . .

    May 31, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. nick

    why does anyone living in hawaii want to move th Wash DC!

    May 31, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. dan

    now this should be an easy pickup for the dems

    May 31, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. DENNA

    NOW he drops out. If he had had any party loyalty at all, he would have dropped out sooner and maybe a Rethug would not have won. I guess he didn't understand that every Rethug in office mean that President Obama will have a harder time governing. Hah! I thought that the Rethugs were the only ones who were self-centered.

    May 31, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Anon

    It appears there's a LOT of arm twisting going in these races! This sounds like the Sestak story! So, if he ignores the arm twisting and runs anyway
    as he intended, does he get snubbed? Probably!

    May 31, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. Ridgeway

    He'll turn up somewhere in the Obama administration.

    May 31, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. DC Johnny

    Perfect example of why we're stuck with the terrible two-party system forever.

    When in doubt, rather than pick a candidate to support, the DCCC just volleys hate attacks at the GOP candidate. When will we grow up as a nation and support who we want to support without the big bad congressional committees telling us who to support (or in this case, who to hate)?

    May 31, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |