U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case, the Democratic contenders for U.S. Senate, will get the opportunity to address the state Democratic convention this weekend for free.
Dante Carpenter, the party’s chairman, announced Friday morning that Case would speak at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Hirono would talk at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday.
Originally, the party only offered the candidates rally time at the convention at $500 per minute. Hirono accepted the offer and purchased eight minutes for Sunday, while Case refused. Party leaders had also suggested a possible forum with Hirono and Case, but the Hirono campaign did not include the event on her debate schedule.
There will be no paid rally time at the Democratic Party of Hawai`i State Convention this year. We will offer our two excellent U.S. Senate candidates time to give speeches with no cost involved.
“Ed Case and Mazie Hirono will each have five minutes to address the convention, Ed on Saturday at 1:00 pm and Mazie on Sunday at 11:10 am . Our delegates expect to hear from both of them and so that’s how we will go forward.
The original concept was to raise needed funds to help cover the cost of the State Convention. Important as that may be, it pales in comparison to giving these great candidates a chance to address our delegates.
We thank Mazie Hirono’s campaign for their willingness to help with the rally time effort, but we will not ask them to contribute anything for time on Sunday.
From Hirono, who called the paid rally time “ill conceived:”
Democrats deserve to hear from their candidates at our convention, and I am extremely glad that will be happening this weekend. I am pleased that the Hawaii Democratic Party has reversed its ill conceived policy to charge candidates for the opportunity to address their fellow Democrats.