Honolulu Civil Beat’s Chad Blair spoke with Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou May 12.

Chad Blair: The polls suggest that if you are elected to Congress it will be with a plurality, not a majority, of the vote. Hawaii usually elects senators and representatives with 60, 70, even 80 percent of the vote. Will winning only a plurality impact how you represent Hawaii in Washington?

Charles Djou: Not really. My campaign always advocates and states first that the primary duty is to be the best representative of Hawaii. My loyalty is to the people of Hawaii first, not to a political party.

Blair: Does it concern you, though, that even if you win you will not have majority support?

Djou: It’s going to impact in a sense. I don’t think I am going to win with 50 percent, but whether it’s by 1 percent or 14 percent, I always know that I’m still going to have to work extra hard to stay in touch with voters.

Blair: What do you think you can accomplish in just a few months in office?

Djou: I think several things. The most immediate thing is that Honolulu will have representation again after several months without. (The office) will be taking care of its constituents, that will start up again, because it has not had representation for the last several months. That’s No. 1.

Second, I think, if I manage to win — certainly much more than my opposition — it will be a significant thing that our country wants to shift directions from where Congress is taking our nation. It’s going in the wrong direction.

A win by my campaign in the president’s hometown will send a message loud and clear that Congress’ priorities are wrong, and that is what I will work immediately on — more fiscal responsibility and accountability. We can’t continue to spend like there’s no tomorrow.

Blair: Anything else you think you might accomplish in office?

Djou: I believe that we need to open more markets for our visitor industry, being the No. 1 sector of our economy. We need to realize that California and Japan are not growing markets for us. It’s very disappointing that the U.S. Congress has not acted on a free-trade agreement with South Korea, where future tourism growth is going to occur. The Philippines and Taiwan too.

Blair: You must be pretty excited by this race.

Djou: It is exciting. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for voters of Hawaii to really speak to the American people. I have never seen a race generate as much national attention as this special election — I have to go back to the 1990 race when (Pat) Saiki and now Senator (Daniel) Akaka ran.

Blair: Do you think it will still be this intense in the fall? Will the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee return and get involved — Republicans too?

Djou: I don’t know whether the DCCC or the (Republican National Committee) will get involved, but I am talking about The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News. These are organizations that have done stories on this race. That’s what I’m seeing. My wife and I marvel every day that there’s more in the national press than there has been in the local press! I say that judiciously, but if you are a resident of Washington or New York and all you had was local press, or The Hill or Politico, I think you would have a better understanding and read more articles on this special election then a resident subscribing to The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

It’s hilarious, but it speaks to the conditions of what’s happening with our local news media. But national attention is on this race.

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