The Democratic Party of Hawaii said Saturday that it recommends that a state House of Representatives candidate whose party qualifications had been challenged now be offered membership.

Cedric Gates, a candidate for District 44 seat representing Waianae, Makaha, Makua and Maili, defeated incumbent Jo Jordan in the Aug. 13 primary, making her the only incumbent to lose in that election.

Chair Tim Vandeveer said in a press release that “Mr. Gates would not have been eligible to run as a Democrat in 2016 due to a combination of factors, most notably that he was not at the time technically a formal member” of the party.

Democratic candidate Cedric Gates ran against Rep. Jo Jordan to represent Waianae.
Democratic candidate Cedric Gates ran against Rep. Jo Jordan to represent Waianae. Courtesy: Cedric Gates

A major reason was that Gates had run as a member of the Green Party in 2014, having missed the deadline to file to run as a Democrat that year.

By the time the issue was raised, it was too late to challenge his candidacy.

Vandeveer explained, “The conclusions of an extensive report on the matter indicate that all parties made various procedural or bureaucratic errors over a two-year period and that despite any inactions or errors on the part of the candidates, the DPH administration (through its own errors and inactions) was in a position at various times to affect the outcome in either direction.”

“The DPH wishes him success,” said Vandeveer, who added that the party has apologized to Jordan.

Gates faces Republican Marc Pa’aluhi in the general election Nov. 8.

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