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Lingle wins Hawaii governor

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HONOLULU, Hawaii (CNN) -- Former Maui Mayor Linda Lingle defeated Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono on Tuesday in her bid to become Hawaii's first Republican governor since 1962, CNN projected.

The Democrats, long the dominant party on the island state, had been in disarray since frontrunner Jeremy Harris abruptly quit the race earlier this year, saying he couldn't win.

Hirono, who was running to succeed Harris as mayor of Honolulu, ended that campaign to run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, beating state Rep. Ed Case, a cousin of AOL/Time Warner chairman Steve Case, and Andy Anderson, a former Republican, to win the party nod.

Lingle was poised to benefit from the Democrat's disarray, having come within 5,000 votes in her quest to defeat Gov. Ben Cayetano in 1998. Despite some much-touted Democratic attempts to promote unity, Lingle led Hirono by double digits in recent polls.

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