(Updates hurricane position, last two paragraphs)
By Malia Mattock McManus
HONOLULU Aug 10 Incumbent Hawaii Governor Neil
Abercrombie was soundly defeated in the state's Democratic
primary, results showed on Sunday, in an election that came as
the state was cleaning up from one powerful storm and preparing
The loss by Abercrombie, who had been endorsed by
Hawaii-born President Barack Obama, marked the first defeat for
an incumbent Democratic governor in Hawaii since it was granted
statehood in 1959, potentially rearranging the political
landscape before U.S. mid-term elections in November.
Final results showed Abercrombie with 30.8 percent of the
votes and the winner, state Senator David Ige, with 66.1
Veteran lawmaker Ige, who was outspent by Abercrombie by
about a one-to-10 margin, had gained a double-digit lead in
polls leading up to the election, with many voters telling
pollsters they were voting for Ige because they were fed up with
"There were suggestions that his leadership style was
arrogant, a my-way-or-the-highway approach," said University of
Hawaii political lecturer Chad Blair.
In a concession speech on Saturday, Abercrombie said: "For
40 years going back to 1974 ... every waking breath that I've
taken, every thought I had before I slept, was for Hawaii."
Ahead of the election, tropical storm Iselle struck the
island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, on Thursday. It
lost force as it pushed past the state.
All but two polling stations on the east coast of the Big
Island opened on Saturday morning, election officials said, with
the thousands who could not go to the closed stations being sent
ballots by mail.
Those late votes could determine the U.S. Senate primary
race between incumbent Brian Schatz and his Democratic
challenger, U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa. Schatz holds a
lead of about 1,600 votes over Hanabusa, election results
Another storm was near Hawaii on Sunday. Hurricane Julio was
about 400 miles (645 km) northeast of Honolulu late on Sunday
but the storm was expected to weaken over the next 48 hours as
it moved to the northwest, the National Weather Service said.
At 5 p.m. (11 p.m. EDT) on Sunday, Julio had sustained winds
of 85 mph (140 kph), it said.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Sandra Maler and Paul