By B.J. Reyes
The morning and afternoon following the primary election was a day of coming together for winners and losers of both parties, as each held its traditional Unity gathering.
Democrats kicked off the day at 7:30 a.m. in the Ala Moana Hotel, for a breakfast and program with speakers including Maya Soetoro-Ng (Barack Obama’s half-sister), U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, and local party leaders.
Republicans held an outdoor luncheon at party headquarters on Kapiolani Avenue, and heard from Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, among others.
Lingle and Aiona stressed the need for candidates to do what they can to get out the vote come Nov. 4, something that the lieutenant governor said could be affected by the party and the candidates themselves.
“What you as candidates need to understand is you have to focus,” Aiona said. “You really have to focus on your race. It should only be you and the people in front of you and nothing else.
“What you need to do … is touch as many hands as you can. Engage in as many conversations as you can and the conversations should be directed to what we’re doing here in Hawaii — not what’s happening up in Washington, D.C., but what’s happening right here in Hawaii.
“Last but not least, learning our lesson from last night, bring your voters out. Identify your voters and make sure that they come out on Nov. 4 and vote for you on Nov. 4.”
Democrats also stressed the need to come together, after a few hard-fought primary battles.
Soetoro-Ng spoke of her new friendships built over the past year within the party while campaigning for her brother, and urged the party faithful to also make sure and bring voters to the polls on Nov. 4, not just for the local races but for the presidential race, too.