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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, August 30, 2002

Republican pulls out of House race

By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Capitol Bureau Chief

James Hardway, a Republican who filed last month to run against state Rep. Ken Hiraki, has withdrawn from the race after Democrats accused him of voter fraud for allegedly listing incorrect addresses on official candidate documents.

Hardway's withdrawal means Hiraki, the incumbent Democrat, will be automatically elected at the primary election.

Hardway, who is a paid employee and deputy finance director of the Linda Lingle campaign, said he is withdrawing his nomination because "I don't want any investigation in my race to be used against the Hawai'i Republican Party or the races that it's handling.

"I want you to know that I have done nothing wrong, and I am confident any investigation into this will prove it."

Hardway filed virtually at the last minute July 23 to run in the state House district that includes Iwilei, Downtown and Makiki, listing 17 signatures on his nominating petition. The signatures of 15 voters are required, but the Office of Elections rejected three signatures as invalid, and Hardway was turned away.

The Office of Elections later reconsidered and accepted one of the three, allowing Hardway to remain in the race. However, new questions surfaced after former Hiraki campaign volunteer Lynne Matusow scrutinized Hardway's petition.

Matusow pointed out Hardway listed one address in a sworn statement on the first page of his nomination papers, and a second address when he signed as one of the 15 eligible voters on his own nomination petition.

The city clerk concluded Hardway no longer lives at the address he listed on the nomination petition.

State Republican Party Chairman Micah Kane said Hardway had intended to move into the address he listed on the first page of his nomination papers, and said Hardway now lives in the district.

Kane said, "This is nothing but a blatant attempt by the Democrat Party to maintain power that they've held for the last 40 years. They don't want to discuss issues, they don't want to have a race and they don't want to give the people of this district a choice."

Hardway would not answer questions yesterday at a brief appearance at a press conference at Republican Party headquarters.

Reach Kevin Dayton at 525-8070 or kdayton@honoluluadvertiser.com.