This afternoon's coverage on the Lingle for Senate campaign rollout:
AP: GOP gets its candidate for US Senate race; Lingle announces candidacy in Hawaii
Lingle, 58, sought to distance herself from GOP leaders in Washington and stressed that she would be an independent voice for Hawaii if elected.
“I say I want to be very clear on this point. I don’t work for Mitch McConnell. I don’t work for President Obama. I work for the people of Hawaii,” she told The Associated Press.
Lingle stressed that one of her strengths is getting people to work together regardless of party affiliation, a concept that she believes is in short supply in Washington.
She criticized the national health care overhaul that Democrats passed but stopped short of calling for its repeal, noting that she didn’t know enough about it to say which provisions should be overturned. In making her announcement, she didn’t attack President Barack Obama, who was born in the state, and said she hopes to win over his supporters.
“So what I tell people is that if you want to support President Obama, that’s fine, but also support me, because for Hawaii’s interest, we’re a small state and we’re far away from the capital, we need to have a foot in both camps. If the Republicans are able to gain control, which some are predicting, we want to have someone who is in that majority caucus,” she said.
LA Times: Former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle to seek Senate seat
Akaka’s departure has set up a scramble among Democrats. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Rep. Ed Case are competing for the party's nomination. Case challenged Akaka for the nomination in 2006, leading to speculation that most of the party’s establishment would rather back Hirono. Sen. Daniel Inouye has made it clear he favors Hirono.
A battle between Lingle and Hirono would be a repeat of the 2002 governor’s race, which Lingle won by 5 percentage points. Lingle handily won reelection in 2006, with 63% of the vote.
HR: Former Hawaii Governor Lingle to Enter U.S. Senate Race
Lingle said today on the Rick Hamada Program that she has several ideas on how to make government more efficient and help the economy rebound.
Lingle said: "I am very appreciative of the encouragement I have received from our residents across the state about my run for Hawai‘i’s open U.S. Senate seat. Because of this support, and after much thoughtful deliberation, I am energized and enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve all the people of Hawaii in Washington. If elected, first, foremost and always, my decisions will put Hawaii people first as we decide the critical issues facing our state and country.”
The 2012 election could give Republicans the majority in the U.S. Senate, and for this reason, and others, she believes Hawaii will benefit from having a bi-partisan team in the U.S. Senate.
She noted that when Inouye was friends with the now deceased U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, that they helped each other get their bills through the Senate, no matter which party was in power.
Lingle is expected to have to raise as much as $8 million to beat either Case or Hirono.
PBN: It’s deja vu all over again as Lingle enters U.S. Senate race
Lingle has lined up some of the same advisers that guided her during her eight years on the fifth floor of the state Capitol, most notably her former communications director, Lenny Klompus, who’s running communications for the campaign.
And retired Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, who was the state adjutant general under the Lingle administration, is her campaign manager….
Lingle’s entry into the race is also shaping up to be a repeat of the 2002 governor’s race in which Lingle became the first Republican to win the executive office in four decades.
Back then, Lingle defeated then-Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono — who had beaten fellow Democrat Ed Case in the primary — by 5 percentage points.
UPI: Ex-Hawaii Gov. Lingle running for Senate
She also paid tribute to Akaka.
"He always treated me with aloha even though we belonged to different political parties," she said. "Senator Akaka embodied the spirit of Aloha in Washington, D.C., and served the people of Hawaii with grace and dignity for 34 years."
The Democratic field includes U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Congressman Ed Case.
A poll in May showed Hirono holding a 22-point edge over Lingle, while Case led by 18, The Washington Post reported. Case's campaign issued a more recent poll that gave him a 10-point lead over Lingle with Hirono behind her by 5 percentage points.
CB: Slick Rollout For Lingle's Senate Campaign
By time Lingle rolled into the Pacific Club at midday, every major news outlet in town was there to hear what she had to say to the marketing executives.
Civil Beat was there, of course, and we could easily give you the highlights of her campaign's focus.
But, why not just read all about it on Lingle's newly minted campaign website?
Click on the website's issues link and it's all there — like jobs and the economy ("I will work every day to ensure that the nearly 14 million Americans who are currently looking for work can find gainful employment"), national security and defense ("I will advocate for and work toward the preservation of America's security forces that will insure stability and deterrence from armed aggression in the Asia-Pacific region"), tourism ("We can create 1.3 million new jobs simply by restoring the United States' share of the travel market to its 2000 levels"), etc.
Or, read Lingle's nifty new Twitter handle, @lingle2012 (70 followers), which features a customized Twitter background. By late afternoon, Lingle had already tweeted 16 times, including this one:
"We want people to work together. As a Republican in Hawaii, I've had to work across party lines to get things done."
(According to her twitter feed, Lingle also "discussed her decision" on Rick Hamada's KHVH radio show before she went to KSSK. So, technically, she announced three times.)
Lingle's Facebook page, meanwhile, is even more detailed. Here's a post from around 4:30 p.m.:
Mahalo to Hawaii News Now for coming down to the SMEI luncheon cover Linda Lingle's discussion of the importance for Hawaii of having bipartisan representation in the U.S. Senate.
Hirono: Observations on Lingle's U.S. Senate Candidacy From An Almost-Candidate
CB: Lingle Makes Hawaii Senate Race a Must-Watch