Former congressman Ed Case has been appealing to independents and Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
But in a speech last Thursday morning to Smart Business Hawaii, the conservative small business group, the moderate Case was particularly blunt. He described his primary with U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono as a “death match” against Hawaii’s Democratic political machine and predicted that his success, regardless of the result against former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, in the November general election, would “drive a stake into the heart of that machine.”
Case’s comments came on the morning a new Hawaii Poll showed him trailing Hirono by double-digits. The poll found that both Hirono and Case had double-digit leads over Lingle. It also was the day of Case’s final debate with Hirono before the primary.
Clearly, there are three candidates — apologies to (Republican) John Carroll — but there are three candidates that have possibility of winning the next United States Senate seat: Me, Hirono and Lingle.
And I would suspect strongly — and I hope I don’t get myself out on a limb, but I’m going to say it anyway — that for some of you I’m your first choice, that for a fair number of you I’m your second choice, but for none of you am I your third choice. And I would suspect strongly that Ms. Hirono is your third choice.
So the only race I’m in right now is the primary election, the Democratic primary election. Yes, some of you, maybe most of you, don’t agree with me 100 percent on several issues.
But I know very well that I can do a better job than Hirono would. I know darn well that I strike a better ground for you. I know darn well that she is the choice of the political culture of Hawaii today and I am not. And this is your opportunity to make a difference in the primary election.
So yes you can vote in the primary election. Apologies to the Republican primary candidates in the room. I hope none of you have contested primaries. But, you know, you should all vote in the Democratic primary …
I say that very bluntly and I say it for a darn good reason. You saw the papers this morning. One poll of many. I don’t agree with the poll, but the poll says that it’s either going to be me or Hirono as your next senator. Make your choice.
If you don’t want to make that choice now, make your choice in the primary election and decide later between me and Lingle.
It’s that blunt and that honest. Strike for a better political culture in the primary. Strike for the possibility of having some of the change in Washington.