Democratic Congressional, Honolulu Mayoral Races Highlight Hawaii PrimaryAP , Associated Press
Sep. 18, 1988 3:21 AM ET
HONOLULU (AP) _ Former Voice of America director Mary Bitterman led two other Democrats in early returns of the state's primary Saturday for the right to face Republican Rep. Patricia Saiki.
Former City Councilwoman Marilyn Bornhorst led three other former Council members and a community activist in the race to oppose Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi.
Voters also chose nominees for 100 federal, state and local offices.
In the congressional race, Bitterman led in early returns by almost 17 percentage points over Honolulu City Councilman Leigh-Wai Doo and by almost 35 percentage points over former teacher union executive John Radcliffe.
Saiki, 58, was unopposed in the GOP primary for the urban Honolulu district.
U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga, seeking his third term, was far ahead of a little known Democratic opponent, Honolulu writer Bob Zimmerman, and was expected to coast to a November victory over the rancher Maria Hustace, the apparent Republican nominee.
Hawaii's other U.S. House member, six-term Democratic Rep. Daniel Akaka, was unopposed in the primary, and no one ran in the Republican primary. His only opponent in the general election will be a Libertarian, Lloyd Mallan.
Fasi, 68, was expected to easily defeat two relatively unknown Republicans in the GOP primary.
Bornhorst had a lead of 4 1/2 percentage points over former Rep. Patsy Mink. Randall Iwase, Dennis O'Connor and Jerry Souza were far behind.
Bornhorst, Iwase, and O'Connor resigned their City Council seats, as required by law, to try to move into the Honolulu mayor's office. Mink gave up her council seat two years ago to make an unsuccessful bid for governor.
Activist Souza has campaigned for more affordable housing.
The election campign was generally low key, with little controversy. In both major primary races, the Democrats stressed their professional backgrounds and government experience in their appeal to voters.
The three Democrats who sought to unseat Saiki became known as ''The Three Amigos'' because of their general agreement on issues. They aimed most of their criticism at the first-term Republican, who gained some national exposure last month as the secretary of the Republican National Convention.
Bornhorst is the front-runner among the five Democrats running for Honolulu mayor, according to a recent Advertiser-Channel 2 News poll. She is also leading Fasi in the poll for the general election, but Fasi was narrowing the gap and many voters were still undecided.
Fasi served three terms as a Democratic mayor but lost in the 1980 primary. He came back as a Republican and won again in 1984.
Souza gained headlines during the mayoral primary campaign when he was excluded from a debate because, debate organizers said, he had less than 1 percent of the vote in a poll.
Matsunaga, 71, was in Washington for most of the primary campaign. Zimmerman gained some publicity for his low-budget campaign when he was arrested for handing out pamphlets at a farm fair held on city property.