44 Contestants Run to Replace Hawaii's Mink

Forty-four candidates met the filing deadline to run in a special election on Jan. 4 to replace the late Rep. Patsy Mink, who was posthumously re-elected this month.

The long list of candidates who met Wednesday's deadline include some prominent Democrats and Republicans who lost races this election season, two incumbent state lawmakers, former politicians and a host of lesser-known perennial candidates.

The January race will be the second special election for the 500,000 registered voters in the district representing rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.

First, a special election is scheduled Nov. 30 to fill the remaining weeks of Mink's current term, which expires Jan. 3.

A total of 38 candidates are running in the November race, many of them lesser-known perennial candidates who also will be on the ballot in January. In both elections, the winner will be whoever garners the most votes. There is no provision for a runoff.

The winner of the Nov. 30 election isn't likely to have much responsibility, as the U.S. House of Representatives has essentially left for the year and is staying in session only to respond to last-minute work in the Senate.

The only prominent name on both ballots is Democrat Ed Case, a cousin of AOL-Time Warner chairman Steve Case, who lost in the gubernatorial primary by 2,000 votes.

Other prominent Democrats include Matt Matsunaga, son of the late U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga who lost his bid to become lieutenant governor, and incumbent state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa.

Republicans in the race are headed by incumbent state Rep. Barbara Marumoto and Bob McDermott, a state representative who lost to Mink in the general election but gained 40 percent of the vote.