By B.J. Reyes
The entry of former Gov. Linda Lingle into the 2012 Senate Race has put Hawaii into Politico’s “Monthly 10,” the Washington publication’s monthly ranking of the most competitive contests in the country.
Lingle is in the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, who is retiring. Also in the race on the Republican side is former state Senator and Air Force pilot John Carroll, while U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Congressman Ed Case vie for the nomination on the Democrats’ side.
Hawaii’s Senate contest makes its debut in the Politico rankings at No. 6:
Linda Lingle is to October what Elizabeth Warren was to September: a new candidate whose near-flawless rollout attracts favorable media coverage and instantly reshapes a Senate race. The Star Advertiser dubbed Lingle’s debut “a textbook example of how a major campaign rolls out a kickoff.” Her candidacy is a coup for GOP recruiting efforts and widens the playing field even further in 2012. She’s also made it clear to leaders in Washington that she’s determined to separate herself from the GOP’s national and tea party brands. Whether she succeeds will determine whether the race stays hot in the coming months.