Republicans Pick Up Hawaii House Seat, At Least For The Next Six Months

Republicans are justly celebrating a win last night in what they’ve been calling Barack Obama’s “home district”:

Republican Charles Djou emerged victorious tonight in the special election to fill Hawaii’s vacancy in Congress, giving Hawaii its first GOP member of Congress in 20 years.

Djou won the special mail-in election with 39.7 percent of the vote in the final printout, released at 9 p.m.

The final printout represented 171,417 ballots returned by voters in the district, which stretches from Waikiki and downtown to Mililani.

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa was second at 31 percent, with Democrat Ed Case third at 27.8 percent.

“This is a momentous day,” Djou told a jubilant crowd at state party headquarters. “We have sent a message to the United States Congress. We have sent a message to the ex-governors. We have sent a message to the national Democrats! We have sent a message to the machine.

“We have told them that we will not stand idly by as our great nation is overburdened by too much taxes, too much debt and too much wasteful spending.”

Djou is Hawaii’s first GOP member of Congress since Pat Saiki, who represented the party from 1987 to 1991.

A quick look at the results should show fairly clearly why the celebration should perhaps be a little muted. But for the fact that there were two Democrats in the race, Djou clearly would’ve lost. This is a district that went for President Obama 70%-28% in the 2008 Election, and for it’s then-incumbent Democratic Congressman 77%-19%. With numbers like these, it’s hard to believe that Djou will be quite as fortunate come November.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Congress, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Herb says:

    I hear he’s a moderate too, so even if he survives beyond six months, he’s still in danger of getting slammed with the RINO label.

  2. Yep, look at what’s happened to the right’s love affair with Scott Brown