Winning the Democratic primary has been good for Jill Tokuda’s campaign coffers.

The former state senator is running for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers rural Oahu and the neighbor islands, and is all but assured victory in November given the state’s penchant for electing Democrats.

Still, she reported raising $104,200 from political action committees between July 25 and Sept. 30, according to her latest quarterly filings with the Federal Election Commission. The records indicate that about three-quarters of those funds were donated after the Aug. 13 primary.

Jill Tokuda candidate for CD--2 speaks to Chad Blair at Chaminade University.
An easy win is expected for Jill Tokuda in the race for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Some of her top post-primary donors include U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a fellow Hawaii Democrat who gave Tokuda’s campaign $5,000 through his leadership committee, Hawaii PAC, the National Association of Realtors and a handful of labor unions representing construction trades.

She also received a $5,000 donation from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has spent millions in Democratic primaries across the country, often targeting progressive candidates who have been critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

In previous filings, Tokuda’s campaign reported receiving only $54,500 from PACs, including those representing the Congressional Progressive Caucus, EMILY’s List and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, whom Tokuda used to work for when Hirono was Hawaii’s lieutenant governor.

Hirono and Tokuda also raised an additional $9,000 for Tokuda’s campaign in the last quarter through a joint fundraising committee.

In total, Tokuda’s campaign reported raising nearly $331,000 between July 25 and Sept. 30, and had just over $193,000 in cash on hand to spend in the general election. Mail-in ballots were being sent to voters this week.

Her opponents, meanwhile, are far behind in the money race.

Republican Joe Akana reported raising $5,700 in the last quarter while at the same time lending his campaign $20,000 of his own money. In total, Akana has loaned his campaign more than $45,000 and spent almost three times as much money as he has raised from contributors other than himself.

Michelle Tippens, who is running for CD2 as a Libertarian, has not reported raising any money for her campaign.

Whoever wins in November will replace U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, who announced in May that he was retiring after just one term in Congress so that he could run for governor. Kahele lost in the primary to Lt. Gov. Josh Green, and was third behind former Hawaii first lady and businesswoman Vicky Cayetano.

Kai Kahele announces running for Hawaii Governor at Hilo Boys and Girls Club gymnasium.
Outgoing U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele donated thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Jill Tokuda and fellow congressman, Ed Case. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Kahele himself donated $2,900 to Tokuda’s campaign after her primary victory through his leadership PAC as did several other members of Congress, including U.S. representatives Ted Lieu, Hakeem Jeffries and Frank Pallone. She also received money from the Congressional Black Caucus PAC.

Tokuda’s Democratic opponent in the primary, state Rep. Patrick Branco, also sent $1,000 to her campaign. Branco additionally sent donations to the Hawaii Democratic Party and the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

Schatz and Hawaii Congressman Ed Case are also on this year’s November ballot, although neither is in danger of losing their seat.

Case’s campaign reported raising about $158,000 in the previous quarter while Schatz’s campaign reported nearly $312,000 in total contributions.

About two-thirds of their donations came from PACs representing a wide range of special interests.

For Case, the PACs giving to his campaign include those affiliated with AIPAC, the American Medical Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Like Tokuda, he also received a $2,900 from Kahele’s leadership PAC.

For Schatz, the donations came from groups representing interests such as shipping, labor and telecommunications. Some of his top donations came from Verizon, Echostar Corp. and Dish Network and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Case reported having more than $501,000 in cash on hand at the end of the reporting period while Schatz’s campaign still had $3.2 million in the bank.

Case is facing off against GOP challenger Conrad Kress in the general election. Kress has reported raising nearly $66,000 total for his campaign, including just over $23,000 in the previous quarter, and had about $11,000 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

Republican State Rep. Bob McDermott, who is competing against Schatz in the general election, has not reported raising any money for his campaign.

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