Republican Charles Djou now has more campaign cash on hand than any other candidate running in the 1st Congressional District race, according to pre-primary reports filed Monday with the Federal Elections Commission.
The reports, which cover July 1 through July 20, show Djou has a $64,000 edge over Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, a frontrunner among the seven Democrats vying for the seat. He has $439,707 in his campaign war chest.
One other Republican is running, Allan Levene, but Djou is expected to win by a large margin in the Aug. 9 primary. This has allowed Djou to save his campaign money for the Nov. 4 general election battle, presumably against Kim or state Rep. Mark Takai.
Charles Djou, Republican candidate for Congress.
The Democratic race has been hard fought between the two. Kim and Takai spent heavily — almost five times as much as the other candidates — to lure undecided voters in July.
Kim spent the most at $228,777, primarily on advertising and polling. She still has $375,424 cash on hand.
Takai was not far behind in expenditures. He spent $223,513 during the three-week period, mostly on ads. But his campaign account is down to $165,331.
The other Democratic candidates didn’t spend near that amount. Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson was the third-biggest spender at $98,492, followed by fellow council members Stanley Chang, who spent $52,127, and Joey Manahan, who spent $2,808.
Chang, who still has $179,232 on hand, poured most of his campaign cash into advertising between April 1 and June 30. He spent $303,421, almost twice as much as any other candidate, to attract voters during that period.
Kim had $581,662 on hand before her July spending surge. Like Takai, she clearly strategized ramping up her messaging closer to the time when people were expected to begin casting their ballots.
Early walk-in voting started Monday and absentee ballots went in the mail two weeks ago.
Djou spent $10,480 during the same reporting period, mostly to set up his campaign headquarters, buy yard signs and mail fundraising letters.
“Charles Djou’s campaign remains exceptionally strong and well-positioned for the election,” former state Rep. Barbara Marumoto, Djou’s campaign manager, said in an email blast to supporters. “We are excited that Charles’ message of returning a moderate and someone with seniority to the majority caucus for Hawai’i is connecting with voters. We don’t take a single vote for granted and will continue to work hard every day.”
As far as raising money goes during the 20-day period, Djou brought in the most. He raised $48,926, Kim raised $22,638, Takai brought in $34,752, Chang raised $21,743, Anderson raised $10,370 and Manahan brought in $3,385.
The reports for state Sen. Will Espero and human rights advocate Kathryn Xian were not yet posted on the FEC website Monday afternoon.
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