Several of Hawaii’s Political Candidates Show Face Including Congressional Candidates Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz and Gubernatorial Candidate Randy Iwase
By Andrew Walden
ISLAND OF HAWAII - Big Island Rancher Larry Mehau, resplendent in a dazzling white “Akaka for Senate” campaign T-shirt, welcomed over 100 Hawaii County Democratic activists to a campaign rally at his Big Island ranch on Sunday, Aug. 27, for U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-HI.
U.S. Congressman Ed Case, D-HI, is challenging Akaka to his seat in the primary election this September.
Mehau’s barn was outfitted with a stage and benches donated by the ILWU.
Several prominent Democrats made brief speeches on Akaka’s behalf, including former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi, Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Randy Iwase and Democratic Lt. Gov. Candidate Malama Solomon. The rally included entertainment by hula dancers and comedian “Augie T.”
With Mehau overlooking the food line and an entire side of beef sizzling on the spit, Solomon explained, “These are scary times for us because we have a Republican Governor.” Iwase told the assembled crowd, “Vote for Akaka! Vote for Akaka! Vote for Akaka -- but do it legally!”
Introduced from the stage were several Democratic candidates including former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Brian Schatz, both who are running for U.S. House. State Legislative Democratic incumbent candidates Dwight Takamine, D-Hilo, and Cindy Evans, D-Kona, were also present for the entire rally, eagerly working the crowd for votes.
In addition to the incumbents Democratic State legislative candidates Sara Burgess and Faye Hanohano drove all the way from Puna to the Mehau Ranch above Honokaa.
HD4 Democrat nomination candidate Sara Burgess (in the pink hat).
HD4 Democrat nomination candidate Faye Hanohano (in green t-shirt).
Bill Sanborn, Cindy Evans’ opponent, was the only Republican candidate present, arriving 90 minutes into the rally.
Akaka sign-wavers greeted rally-goers along Hamakua’s Mamalahoa Highway. The gates of the Mehau Ranch feature banners for Akaka, Iwase, Solomon, Takamine and HGEA Local 152. The rally was advertised by leaflets “Paid for and authorized by Akaka in 2006.” Names listed on the leaflet include Yoshito and Dwight Takamine, Beth Mehau and many others.
Sen. Akaka was not seen at the rally although campaign workers said he was expected. One day earlier, Akaka was the featured speaker at a Labor Day rally 40 miles south in Hilo.
Mehau, a well-connected political figure in Hawaii, has endorsed and fundraised for both Republican and Democratic candidates in the past, including Republican Pat Saiki for Governor in 1994, Andy Anderson who ran for governor three times, and Democrat Duke Bainum for Mayor in 2004. All three candidates lost.
To see a copy of the invitation, click on Mehau Akaka Rally