HONOLULU — The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hawaii’s largest statewide newspaper, has chosen Democrat Mazie Hirono over Republican Linda Lingle in the race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Daniel Akaka.

Hirono is a member of Congress and former lieutenant governor; Lingle served two terms as governor.

Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle

In an Oct. 28 editorial, The Star-Advertiser stated, “Hirono has been a consistent advocate for government actions and policies that serve Hawaii…. She has not wavered in her commitment on several issues critical to national interests as well as those specific to Hawaii…. Middle-class voters in Hawaii can support her and know where she stands.  Judging by her past history on the Hill, she stands with them.”

After learning of the newspaper’s decision, Hirono said, “I am grateful to have The Star-Advertiser endorse our campaign. This campaign is about making sure that Hawaii’s next senator shares Hawaii’s values and will be a strong voice for those values and priorities …

“While this endorsement is appreciated, the campaign is far from over. We have nine days left in this campaign — I am not taking anything for granted and there is a lot of hard work to do. I will continue to make my case to the people of Hawaii and emphasize how critical it is for everyone to get out and vote.”

The full editorial can be read by going to http://bit.ly/U8mtoD.

Lingle has the endorsement of The Maui News and The Hawaii Tribune Herald. The latter newspaper said, “During her eight years in office, Lingle demonstrated her ability to work with both sides of the aisle. She is a moderate who will do what’s right for Hawaii.”

On Oct. 29, a new poll from The Star-Advertiser showed Hirono leading Lingle, 57 to 35 percent.

“I’m humbled by the support this poll shows, and it reaffirms that the people of Hawaii see a clear choice in this election,” Hirono said. “What I am hearing across the state is that people want our next U.S. senator to value and honor the commitments made to our kupuna (seniors), create educational opportunities for our keiki (children), and get to work creating jobs. Despite increasingly desperate and negative attacks from mainland special interest groups, the people of Hawaii will not be fooled.

“On Nov. 6, we can choose between a U.S. senator that shares our Hawaii values of equal opportunity and fair play, will partner with President Obama and Sen. (Daniel) Inouye to move Hawaii and our country forward; or a senator who would block that progress.”

Gen. Bob Lee, Lingle’s campaign manager, said in a statement, “This is another skewed poll from Ward Research, whose methodology is wildly out of step with that of real political polling firms … Our nationally recognized pollster pointed out the flaws in the methodology of the Ward poll, noting that the distribution used by The Star Advertiser’s poll as too Democratic (60%) and not representative of historic exit polling data in Hawaii … Based on incredibly strong debates by Gov. Lingle, our most recent tracking poll shows this race is a statistical dead heat … Nothing in this wacky Ward Research poll changes a single thing we are doing or planning to do.”

A sample of Mazie Hirono’s campaign materials.
A sample of Linda Lingle’s campaign materials.

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