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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 13, 2010

Djou calls Hawaii special election race 'pretty much over'

Advertiser Staff

Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou has largely been staying out of the way over the past few days while former congressman Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa take shots at each other in the special election for Congress.

But Djou told The Hill, a Washington, D.C., newspaper that covers Congress, that "this election is pretty much over."

"Mathematically, it becomes next to impossible (for Democrats) to win this race unless you stuff the ballot box," said the Republican, who is leading his two Democratic rivals former congressman Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa in public and private polls.

Asked whether Djou thinks he has won, Dylan Nonaka, a Djou campaign spokesman, said: "Absolutely not.

"He does not believe he has won, by any means."

Nonaka said Djou was referring to the fact that he is leading in the polls at a time when most voters who intend to cast ballots in the winner-take-all special election have likely already voted.

The state Office of Elections said 38 percent of the 317,000 eligible voters have voted. In previous all-mail special elections for Honolulu City Council, the bulk of votes were cast shortly after the ballots were mailed out.

Dante Carpenter, the interim chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, called Djou's comments "classic grandstanding shibai."

"Djou may think the race is over, but I would tell him it ain't over till it's over. The fact of the matter is that we still have nine days in this election, and there are still many ballots to be sent in," he said in a statement.