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Bernie Sanders Wins Hawaii Democratic Caucus

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 27/03/2016 Chris D'Angelo

Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defeated Hillary Clinton in Saturday's Hawaii Democratic caucus, known locally as a "presidential preference poll."

The Aloha State, considered among the bluest of the blue in the country, sends a total of 34 delegates -- 25 proportionately allotted and nine superdelegates -- to the Democratic National Convention.

Sanders won the Democratic caucuses in Washington state and Alaska on Saturday.

Ahead of the Hawaii caucus, Clinton garnered support from the majority of Hawaii's Democratic political force, including Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, Rep. K. Mark Takai, and a number of state legislators and former governors. 

In a statement last week, Schatz said Clinton was the right choice because of her record of addressing climate change, protecting the environment and promoting clean energy, all of which are priorities for the island state.

In February, however, Sanders received a key endorsement from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who resigned from her post as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee to support the senator's presidential bid.

Gabbard, a veteran, said in a video announcing her endorsement that Sanders would "usher in a new era of peace and prosperity."

"We need a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment and who understands the need for a robust foreign policy which defends the safety and security of the American people," Gabbard said. "And who will not waste precious lives and money on interventionist wars of regime change."

Neither Clinton nor Sanders campaigned in Hawaii before Saturday's caucus. Sanders' wife, Jane, however, toured the state this week, with stops on Oahu and Maui.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who dropped out of the presidential race last month, and San Diego businessman and real estate tycoon Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, who has launched a presidential bid, also appeared on ballot. 

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, some 37,000 people voted in Hawaii's Democratic presidential preference poll in 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama, who was born in Hawai was seeking the party's nomination.

Hawaii's Republican caucus was held March 8 and drew approximately 15,600 voters. Candidate Donald Trump won with 43 percent of the vote and accounted for 11 of Hawaii's 19 Republican delegates.

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