Case withdraws from Congressional race
Former congressman Ed Case said today that he will withdraw from the Democratic primary for Congress, explaining that too much is at stake to divide the party as it attempts to win back urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District from U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, (R-Hawaii).
Case made the announcement during his remarks at the state Democratic convention at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, his main rival in the primary, joined him on stage and presented Case with a lei.
Case, a moderate often at odds with the party's establishment, told delegates that he is proud to be a Democrat. He received an extended standing ovation from delegates.
Case said afterward that he made his decision over the past few days after his third-place finish in the special election behind Hanabusa and Djou.
"I thought it was the right thing to do, at the right time, for the right reasons," he said. "That's really what it came down to."
U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, (D-Hawaii), who had endorsed Hanabusa and resisted
pressure from national Democrats to abandon her in favor of Case, who many
in Washington believed was more electable, told delegates that he was deeply
moved by Case's gesture.
"He showed that he was a Democrat," Inouye said.
Democrats will now be able to devote their resources behind Hanabusa for the November election.
Hanabusa told delegates that she will never forget Case's magnanimous gesture and neither should other Democrats. She described it as "a great sacrifice."
Hanabusa said Democrats are the majority in Hawaii for a reason. "That should tell us something," she said. "People believe in us. People trust us."
In a statement, Case said, "My heart tells me to stay in this fight, but my head says this has become the wrong fight."
Case and his wife, Audrey, recently returned from their high school reunion on the Big Island where "the enduring friendships and life lessons of our youth enabled us to come to resolution on our best path forward," according to his statement.
"This past week since Election Day has been a roller coaster. We've taken apart the results and analyzed our options every which way. I've listened to the heartfelt advice of my family, our incredible campaign 'ohana and so many others who share our dreams, and asked myself how I can best contribute. If it all lined up it'd be an easy decision, but it doesn't."
Djou commended Case for his service.
"I wish Ed and his family well in their future endeavors," the congressman said in a statement. "Now voters will have a clear choice in November between the status quo and new leadership for Hawaii. I look forward to talking to the nearly 70 percent of voters who voted for change in the special election and all voters who recognize that business as usual isn't good enough."