- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2003

HONOLULU (AP) Democrat Ed Case beat out 43 other candidates to win a wide-open special election in Hawaii's 2nd District and become the final member selected to the 108th Congress, election officials said yesterday.
Mr. Case was an incumbent for five weeks after easily winning a special election to finish the remainder of the late Rep. Patsy T. Mink's term.
Mr. Case won with 33,002 votes, or 43 percent, in the vote cast Saturday and tabulated yesterday. He will be sworn in tomorrow.
Democrat Matt Matsunaga finished second with 23,050 votes, while state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, also a Democrat, was third with 6,046 votes.
The special election was needed after Mrs. Mink was posthumously re-elected to her seat representing rural Oahu and the neighboring islands. She died Sept. 28, a week after easily winning her primary but two days after a deadline to replace her name on the general election ballot.
By virtue of his previous victory, Mr. Case, a cousin of AOL Time Warner Chairman Steve Case, touted the advantage of incumbency in campaign ads.
Though not sworn in, Mr. Case was considered a congressman, an advantage that will give him seniority over other freshmen not starting until this month and an edge in securing committee assignments.
He began building his profile statewide in November 2001, initiating his campaign for governor that ended with a loss by 2,000 votes in the Sept. 21 Democratic primary.
A native of Hilo on the Big Island, Mr. Case served eight years in the state House of Representatives. A lawyer, Mr. Case also is no stranger to Washington, having served as a legislative assistant to Hawaii lawmaker Spark Matsunaga in the 1970s, first in the House and then in the Senate.
Saturday's election was the fourth in 3 months for voters in the 2nd District to select their congressional representative. Total turnout was 76,328 voters, or 21.9 percent of the 348,342 who registered for the special election.
Neither party rallied behind a candidate.

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