Last night, the first debate was held in the special election to fill Hawaii Democratic Congressman Neil Abercrombie's vacant seat. Republican Charles Djou, a Honolulu councilman, has a real shot to win. Bush garnered 47% of the votes in this district, and there are two Democrats who may split the liberal vote in the three-way race. Djou seems to have done a good job at drawing contrasts between himself and his Democratic opponents during the debate:
Djou said he would vote against the health reform proposal that could face a key vote in the U.S. House later this week. "The reason I will not vote in favor of it is because it's going to cost too much and it's not going to fix our problem in health care," he said.
Case responded by saying: "I ask Charles directly how are you going to cover the 30 million Americans (who don’t have health care) because I do not believe that a market-based reform system which is what you advocate is going to do that job."Democrats Hanabusa and Case support the multi-billion dollar stimulus program. "That kept many people working. So to say the stimulus did not work is not true in Hawaii," Hanabusa said. But Djou, a Republican, says the stimulus did not work, and he faulted both Republicans and Democrats for raising the budget deficit in recent years. "What the Bush administration did being wrong with half a trillion dollar budget deficit doesn't make it right now that the Obama administration and the majority congress is wanting a one-point-six trillion dollar budget deficit," he said, referring to the amount of money added to the federal deficit.
It only takes a plurality to win the May 22 election (though the election really begins on April 30 when ballots are mailed out across the district).