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Progressive Jill Tokuda nominated for Hawaiis open 2nd District seat

Progressive former state Sen. Jill Tokuda won Saturdays Democratic primary for Hawaiis open 2nd District, overcoming $1.2 million spent against her by outside groups, like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC.

Tokuda defeated state Rep. Patrick Branco and four other candidates, and may be the favorite to stay another Congress with a November race rated Solid Democratic by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. Tokuda had 59 percent of the vote to Brancos 25 percent having an estimated 93 percent counted. The Associated Press called the race at 3: 21 a.m.Eastern time Sunday.

Tokuda had support from Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono plus some of the Houses most progressive members donated through their leadership PACs, including Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. The progressive groups independent expenditure arm spent $179,000 on ads to back her and Jayapal’s leadership PAC spent another $20,000. But spending against her or for Branco totaled $1.2 million and originated from such groups as BOLD PAC, Mainstream Democrats PAC, VoteVets and the cryptocurrency-backed group Web3 Forward.

Tokuda told Hawaii News Now she was humbled by her winning margin and that her campaign heard from voters who have been switched off by the tone of the race.

We are able to run tough campaigns, we are able to discuss issues, but lets achieve this with civility and aloha and respect. And there is just a large amount of pushback that people got for the negative campaigns, having less focus on the true issues, and much more importantly, not putting them at the biggest market of the election, she said. People said, Enoughs enough, Hawaiis not on the market, that is our congressional seat.

The next District seat is open because freshman Rep. Kai Kahele opted to perform for governor rather than reelection to the home. He finished third in the gubernatorial primary with 14 percent, behind Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who had 64 percent, and former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano, who had 21 percent.

Tokuda had unsuccessfully challenged Green in the 2018 primary for lieutenant governor. In November, she’ll face Republican Joe Akana, who defeated Joseph Webster in the GOP primary, 83 percent to 17 percent. A was race called by The AP one minute following the Democratic primary. Akana ran against Kahele in 2020 and lost, 63 percent to 31 percent.

Case, Schatz renominated

In the very first District, Rep. Ed Case won the Democratic nomination for a third term, taking 85 percent of the vote against challenger Sergio Alcubilla, who had 16 percent. That race was called by the AP at 2: 01 a.m. Eastern time. (Case also previously served inside your home from 2002 to 2007.)

Conrad Kress won the Republican nomination, taking 49 percent of the vote against two challengers once the race was called at 4: 53 a.m. Eastern time. Inside Elections rates the very first District race as Solid Democratic.

Hawaii also offers a Senate race this season, although it isn’t expected to compete. Sen. Brian Schatz had 94 percent of the vote in his bid for the nomination for another full term against a challenger, Steve Tataii, who raised no money. Schatz will face Republican Bob McDermott, who also reported no fundraising but won the five-candidate GOP primary. Schatz reported having $3.5 million readily available by July 24. Inside Elections rates the race as Solid Democratic.

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