Today the Sierra Club of Hawaii held a press conference and endorsed Mark Takai for congress in district 1. This is the open seat that Hanabusa abandoned to primary Sen Brian Schatz.
Seven Democrats entered this race. Unfortunately the current front runner in the polls is Donna Mercado Kim - someone who takes "Democrat in name only" to new heights (or lows).
Progressives, environmentalists, labor all want to make sure she doesn't win. But since most of the other candidates range from decent to great, the vote is fracturing among them and this split could allow Donna Kim to win.
The only candidate coming close to her in the recent polls is Mark Takai who is six points behind her (the margin of error in the Civil Beat poll was six points) The rest are down by double digits.
The Sierra Club of Hawai'i chair alluded to that in his remarks, saying it was time to coalesce around a single good candidate.
Sierra Club has been focusing on climate change and reducing fossil fuel so Takai's position dovetails with theirs:
“It was while I was deployed as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I grew very frustrated about being part of a war being fought half way around the world in part because of our dependence on foreign oil, especially since we weren’t doing much at home to lessen this dependence.”It looks like the Sierra Club has decided to step in, break the impass and lead a consolidation of votes around Mark Takai.
Sierra Club has been a powerhouse in getting candidates elected in Hawai'i. Last election they demolished opponents of their endorsed candidates, Tulsi Gabbard and Mazie Hirono. When they endorsed Gabbard she was 20 points behind. She went on to win by almost that same amount.
This could be a game-changer.