Case wins Democratic primary to represent Honolulu in Congress

Decision 2018 Primary Election

Former U.S. Rep Ed Case (left) along with his wife, Audrey, do last-minute campaign waving at passing cars Saturday in Honolulu. -- AP photo

HONOLULU (AP) — Former Congressman Ed Case has emerged from a crowded field to win the Democratic Party primary to represent Honolulu in Congress.

The 65-year-old fiscal conservative on Saturday defeated five other major candidates including Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, who is the architect of Hawaii’s legal battle against President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

The winner of the Democratic primary is almost guaranteed to win in the general election in Hawaii.

Another contender was 29-year-old Kaniela Ing, a democratic socialist who hoped to follow in the footsteps of colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to score an upset victory.

Case served in Congress from 2002 to 2007, giving him an edge in experience and name recognition.

Kaniela Ing

He’ll face Cam Cavasso, a former state representative who previously ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate. Cavasso won the GOP primary Saturday.

Democrats seeking the nomination included Chin, who gained popularity when he was state attorney general by leading Hawaii’s lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s ban on travelers from several mostly Muslim-majority countries. Also running were veteran lawmaker Donna Mercado Kim, a former state Senate president, and Ernie Martin, the current chairman of the Honolulu City Council.

Ing, a state representative from South Maui, hoped his calls for tuition-free college, canceling student debt and Medicare-for-all would help him reprise the dramatic come-from-behind victory his New York democratic socialist colleague, Ocasio-Cortez, scored two months ago. Ocasio-Cortez defeated a powerful sitting congressman in her Democratic primary in June.

The candidates spanned the political spectrum of Hawaii’s Democratic Party, which dominates state politics.

Case represented a more conservative bent, expressing concern about the federal debt and deficits.

The winner of the general election will join a four-person Hawaii Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Mazie Hirono won the Democratic nomination for Senate unopposed.