State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim outspent each of her opponents by a margin of at least 2 to 1 in the Democratic primary race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.

According to the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission, Kim spent nearly $350,000 between April 1 and June 30 in an attempt to win the seat U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is vacating in her bid to become governor.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim has raised more money than any other candidate running for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District seat.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

The next closest candidate to Kim — at least in terms of expenditures — is Ed Case, the former Hawaii congressman who made a splash by entering the race near the filing deadline.

Campaign spending reports show Case spent just over $158,000 during the quarter. Much of that money appears to have come out of his own pocket.

According to the FEC, Case loaned his campaign about $150,000. He also raised about $123,000, an amount that put him in the middle of the pack for contributions.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Doug Chin took in the largest haul during the reporting period with contributions of about $280,000. Kim brought in the second most with about $229,000.

Chin, who made a name for himself filing legal challenges against President Donald Trump as Hawaii’s attorney general before taking the job as lieutenant governor, was the third-highest spender in the race, doling out about $150,000 in three months.

The Civil Beat poll, which was conducted in early May, had Kim leading the six-person pack with 26 percent followed by Chin with 19 percent. At that time, 32 percent of those polled were undecided.

A Honolulu Star-Advertiser polled released Wednesday had Case up big with 36 percent of likely voters saying they would vote for him and 27 percent saying they would vote for Chin. Fourteen percent said they would vote for Kim.

The newspaper’s poll was the first to include Case since he announced his candidacy.

The remainder of the field, which includes State Rep. Kaniela Ing, Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin and state Rep. Beth Fukumoto, was far behind. According to the poll, Ing received support from 6 percent of those polled, while Martin and Fukumoto captured 2 and 1 percent, respectively.

Ing, who got a boost in recent from the endorsement of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the Democratic Socialist from the Bronx who garnered national notice after unseating a 10-term incumbent in the Democratic primary, raised about $101,000 during the quarter.

The reports show Martin pulled in about $89,000 while Fukumoto, who joined the Democratic Party in 2017, raised about $69,000.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect reported corrections to Kaniela Ing’s campaign finance reports. His campaign originally submitted inaccurate reports to the FEC that overstated how much money it had raised during the quarter and understated how much it had spent. The amount of cash on hand the campaign reported was also overstated.

Gabbard’s Prolific Fundraising

In Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard continues to trounce her competition in fundraising and spending.

According to the latest filings, Gabbard raised about $162,000 in the last quarter, bringing her total fundraising this election cycle to more than $1.2 million.

Gabbard’s main opponent in the Democratic primary, Sherry Campagna, reported raising just over $12,000 in the last quarter and about $25,000 on the whole.

Campagna has spent most of the money she’s raised and has about $2,400 in cash on hand. Gabbard, who many believe has her eye on higher office, has nearly $2.3 million in the bank.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.

A message to our readers

Civil Beat is a nonprofit newsroom. Without your support, our stories don’t just go unread – they go untold. This year, Civil Beat is a proud participant in NewsMatch – the nation’s largest fundraising campaign to increase support for nonprofit news organizations like Honolulu Civil Beat. Now until December 31st, a group of national foundations will match each individual donation to Civil Beat, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000. Now is your chance to double your impact!

About the Author