I have been a Democrat for most of my life but also vote for the candidate I believe is best for the job. That is why for many years I was a strong supporter of Linda Lingle and worked for her campaigns.
I had a hand in getting the University of Hawaii faculty union, UHPA, to endorse her first run for governor - the first time a public sector union backed a Republican candidate, I believe. Ben Cayetano punished UHPA for this and, in many ways, his nasty behavior lead to the faculty strike that followed several years later.
I also supported Lingle in her second term for governor, but during that term I begin to see political changes in her that were very disturbing and that pandered to the Republican Party.
Today, I can't support her run for the Senate given those changes and the prospects of her in the Senate as a junior member beholden to a very rigid, unyielding conservative Republican Party that has become extremely noncooperative - more concerned it seems with partisan politics than solving national problems.
I support and will work hard for a continued Democratic control of the Senate, for that better ensures that all Americans - but especially the beleaguered middle class - will get a fairer deal.
Given my previous support of Lingle, I am saddened by her drift to a Tea Party-driven Republican right, and do not believe, given her party's current condition, that she can provide the balance she now promises.