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History made: Incumbent governor loses primary in Hawaii

By Shannon Travis and Steve Brusk, CNN
updated 7:54 AM EDT, Sun August 10, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An incumbent Hawaii governor never had lost a primary before
  • Then came Saturday, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie lost to his challenger: state Sen. David Ige
  • Incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz and his challenger are only 11 votes apart -- too close to call
  • Local newspaper reports that no incumbent U.S. senator from Hawaii has ever lost an election

Washington (CNN) -- Hurricanes are rare in Hawaii. It's even rarer when an incumbent governor or senator loses a primary election in the state. It had never happened before Saturday.

Hurricanes Iselle and Julio left the state intact this week, but a Democratic primary election washed Gov. Neil Abercrombie from office.

State Sen. David Ige defeated him and will face Republican Duke Aiona November's general elections.

Hawaii's incumbent U.S. senator, Brian Schatz, might also get doused. His primary race against Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is too close to call. Just 11 votes separate them.

President Obama, in a rare move, chose sides in a Democratic primary, supporting Schatz's bid earlier this year. But the President's decision is at odds with the dying wish of the senator whom Schatz succeeded.

Days before his death in 2012, Daniel Inouye made clear he wanted Hanabusa to succeed him.

Abercrombie defied that request, instead appointing Schatz, who was then the lieutenant governor.

Obama had also supported Abercrombie's reelection.

Hawaii has long rewarded political incumbents. Since its statehood, no governor had ever lost in a primary in Hawaii.

Additionally, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser notes that "no incumbent U.S. senator -- appointed or elected -- has lost an election."

CNN's Ashley Killough and Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.

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