Hawaii voters decide August 8 congressional primaries

The congressional primary election for Hawaii was held on August 8, 2020. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Candidates ran in elections for the following offices:

Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District:
• Incumbent Ed Case advanced unopposed from the Democratic primary. Ron Curtis advanced from the Republican primary. He received 40.9% of the vote; James Dickens and Nancy Olson were the only other candidates who earned more than 20% of the vote. Three race forecasters rate the general election as Safe/Solid Democratic.

• Nonpartisan candidate Calvin Griffin also appeared on the primary ballot. Hawaii election law requires nonpartisan candidates in partisan races to receive at least 10% of the votes cast for the office or to receive a vote total equal to or greater than the lowest vote total of a winning partisan candidate in order to advance to the general election. Griffin did not meet that threshold.

Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District:

• Joseph Akana advanced from the Republican primary. He earned 43.6% of the vote. Elise Hatsuko Kaneshiro was the only other candidate who earned more than 10% of the vote. In the Democratic primary, Kaiali’i Kahele advanced with 76.5% of the vote. The next-highest vote-getter was Brian Evans, who earned 9.4% of the vote. Incumbent Tulsi Gabbard (D) did not run for re-election. Three race forecasters rate the general election as Safe/Solid Democratic.

Entering the 2020 election, Hawaii’s U.S. congressional delegation has two Democratic senators and two Democratic representatives. The U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Only 33 out of 100 Senate seats are up for regular election, and two seats are up for special election this year. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 198 Republicans, one Libertarian, and four vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

Hawaii’s primary was the 38th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary was scheduled for August 11 in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

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About the author

Kate Carsella

Kate Carsella is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.