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Lt. Gov. Josh Green wins Hawaii Democratic gubernatorial nomination, CNN projects

<i>Audrey McAvoy/AP</i><br/>Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green
AP
Audrey McAvoy/AP
Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green

By Rachel Janfaza, Ethan Cohen, Melissa Holzberg DePalo, Clara Grudberg and Nicholas Anastacio, CNN

Lt. Gov. Josh Green will win the Democratic nomination for governor in Hawaii, CNN projects.

As of 7 a.m. ET Sunday, Green was winning 63.7% of the vote, while former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano had 21.4% and Rep. Kai Kahele had 13.7%.

CNN also projects that former state Sen. Jill Tokuda will win the Democratic nomination for the state’s open 2nd Congressional District, and Republican Joe Akana will win his party’s nomination for the seat. As of 7 a.m. ET Sunday, Tokuda was winning 58.6% of the vote while State Rep. Patrick Branco had 24.6%.

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz will win renomination and face Republican Bob McDermott in November, and Democratic 1st Congressional District Rep. Ed Case will win renomination and will face Republican Conrad Kress, CNN projects.

Green, a former emergency room doctor who served in the Hawaii state House and Senate, defeated Rep. Kai Kahele and former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano to clinch the nomination.

Green was born in New York and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A part of the National Health Service Corps, he moved to Hawaii where he was stationed in 2000. He served in the Hawaii state legislature from 2004 to 2018. He was elected lieutenant governor in 2018 and in 2020 became the state’s Covid-19 liaison, according to his bio.

In a debate held in July, Green called out Kahele for serving one term in Congress and then retiring to return to Hawaii and run for governor, Hawaii News Now reported at the time.

Kahele, who was elected to Congress in 2020 to replace Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, came under fire earlier this year for his part-time work as a commercial pilot for Hawaiian Airlines, which raised questions of whether he was breaking any ethics rules for continuing his work with the airline.

Questions about Kahele’s work with Hawaiian Airlines arose after the Honolulu Civil Beat published an in-depth story looking into his attendance at the US Capitol this year and his personal income since he entered office. The report found that Kahele had voted by proxy at least 120 times from the start of the year through early April, meaning another lawmaker has cast his votes for him.

Kahele’s office at the time defended his part-time work with Hawaiian Airlines and said his decision to vote by proxy was motivated by concerns over new coronavirus variants, given that the congressman lives in a multigenerational family home. His office said he remained committed to his work in Washington, DC.

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