Nearly a week after most of the state voted, Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz has now defeated Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary.
A final count was delayed when the state rescheduled voting to Friday for a few thousand people on the Big Island, where storm damage had closed two polling places on the original primary day, Aug. 9. Schatz led by 1,635 votes coming out of last weekend, giving him a significant edge that Hanabusa was unable to overcome.
According to the state Office of Elections tally , Schatz won with 48.5 percent to 47.8 percent for Hanabusa — a margin of 1,769 votes out of more than 233,000 cast. Hanabusa sued the state on Wednesday in an attempt to postpone the makeup date for the two precincts. But a circuit court judge denied that request Thursday, and the vote went on Friday as scheduled.
Schatz is now heavily favored to win in November and serve out the remaining two years of the term vacated by the death of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. Schatz was appointed to the seat in December 2012.
The race is rated Safe Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
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