Jonah Kaauwai, the state GOP chairman, has sent a forceful letter appealing to pastors and people of faith not to vote for former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the Democratic primary for governor. Kaauwai says Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, the leading Republican candidate, better represents church values.
Duke will win because the Church has been behind him the entire time operating in the POWER and the AUTHORITY of the NAME OF JESUS! We are the HEAD and not the tail; we are the VICTORS not the victims! If Duke Aiona does not win it will be the burden of the Body of Christ to bear so rather than preparing to have to deal with either Mufi or Neil winning the Church, we should be preparing for Duke to WIN. Neither Mufi Hannemann nor Neil Abercrombie is righteous and a vote for either in the primary or general election is succumbing to fear and advancing unrighteousness!
Bloggers David Shapiro and Ian Lind have noted the religious fervor in Kaauwai’s message, but there is also a basic political strategy at work as well. Many Republicans believe the conservative Aiona has a better chance against former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, a liberal, because the political contrasts are starker than against Hannemann.
Aiona, a Catholic, and Hannemann, a Mormon, can both appeal to the faithful. Aiona would likely have to run even further to the religious right to prevent Hannemann from peeling off Christian votes, possible alienating many of the independents and moderate Democrats Aiona needs to win.
Or, as Kaauwai puts it:
As a former men’s pastor and worship leader for 8 years, I am positioned here in the midst of politics to share the truth and expose the conspirators of a very corrupt system no matter what the cost. Too often, we as the Body of Christ are reacting to crisis like HB444 . We need to fearlessly, like David did Goliath, run towards the unrighteous enemy. Duke Aiona’s Campaign for Governor is the Body of Christ’s opportunity to operate in the AUTHORITY and to be proactive. The Primary Election is the first step to bringing back a righteous leader to the highest office in this State which has not been seen since Queen Lili’uokalani. Over 100 years ago! With more than 400,000 Christians in the State of Hawaii, WE are responsible no matter what the outcome of Duke’s race because we have been given the POWER and the AUTHORITY in the NAME OF JESUS!!!!
Kaauwai said on Sunday that he expected his letter would be widely circulated. But he said he did not ask for it to be posted on the Hawaii Christian Coalition website, which gave it a larger audience and brought a considerable response.
He said his goal is to get Republicans to pull GOP ballots in the September primary and not cross over to the Democrats in either the primary or the November general election.
“We want Republicans to stay home in this election,” he said.
*Update: Aiona released this statement on Monday:
While faith is a central part of my life, I’m running for governor to serve all the people of Hawaii – regardless of their religion.
The goal of our grassroots campaign is to connect with every citizen in every community of this great state, and chairman Kaauwai’s personal comments are seen by many as divisive.
Our campaign is focused on families, friends and neighbors of all backgrounds, and we’re going to continue to reach out to all the citizens of Hawaii.