(HONOLULU) — Hurricanes that threatened Hawaii were nothing compared to the political earthquake that hit the islands this past weekend.
For the first time in state history, a sitting governor lost a primary for reelection. Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie lost to state Senator David Ige by a two-to-one margin.
It’s believed Hawaiian voters turned against Abercrombie due to his proposal for higher taxes, and their still simmering anger over him selecting Brian Schatz to replace the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, who had wanted Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa to take his seat.
Abercrombie’s loss is also an embarrassment for President Obama, who endorsed the incumbent.
Meanwhile, the primary race between Schatz and Hanabusa is too close to call. With 99 percent of the vote in, there were just 1,700 votes separating the candidates, with the senator in the lead. The outcome won’t be known until 8,000 absentee ballots are cast from two polling places on the Big Island that were closed during the storm.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Jim Acosta and Greg Clary, CNN
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News