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Absentee congressman trailing in Hawaii Democratic gubernatorial primary poll

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 7/6/2022 Kate Scanlon
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Staying home in Hawaii and casting House votes by proxy doesn't seem to have done Rep. Kai Kahele a lot of good in his bid for his state's Democratic gubernatorial nomination, according to a new Honolulu Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll.


The poll found Lt. Gov. Josh Green leading his two most prominent Democratic primary opponents, including Kahele, by a wide margin just weeks before the scheduled Aug. 13 contest.

Green leads the field with 48%, followed by Kahele at 16% and businesswoman and ex-first lady Vicky Cayetano at 15%. Another 22% said they were still undecided.

“A poll is a snapshot in time, but it appears that Lt. Gov. Green has a substantial lead in this race,” Seth Rosenthal, a survey consultant with MRG Research, which conducted the poll, told Honolulu Civil Beat. “To catch him, either Kahele or Cayetano would have to consolidate the support of the undecided voters around themselves but also win over some of the supporters of the other candidates.”

Kahele made national headlines earlier this year when an April data analysis by Honolulu Civil Beat of congressional voting statistics found Kahele had not voted in person in the House since January and appeared to have spent little, if any, time in Washington in the interim.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the House adopted temporary emergency rules permitting members to vote by proxy for the first time in its history. The measure, intended to reduce the number of people gathering in a tightly confined and poorly ventilated space during the height of the pandemic and before vaccines were readily available, has yet to be lifted. The rule change has been extended incrementally since its implementation.

As time went by and the rule change remained in place, members have turned to proxy voting for reasons other than illness or the risk of infection, as there is no mechanism to enforce limits on members' reasons for voting by proxy. Some members have used the practice as a form of parental leave, while others have used it to fundraise, campaign, or attend events such as the Conservative Political Action Conference.


Kahele appeared to be maximizing his time in Hawaii as he laid the groundwork for a gubernatorial bid.


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Tags: Midterms 2022, News, House of Representatives, Hawaii, Democrat

Original Author: Kate Scanlon

Original Location: Absentee congressman trailing in Hawaii Democratic gubernatorial primary poll


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