FORMER US Rep. Patricia Saiki swept Hawaii's Republican primary with 92 percent of the vote in her bid to become the state's first female governor.
Ms. Saiki defeated three other candidates in Saturday's election. She faces Lt. Gov. Ben Cayetano, a Democrat, and former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi, who started his own party, in the November general election. Gov. John Waihee is prevented by state law from seeking a third, four-year term.
In the Senate race, US Sen. Daniel Akaka was unopposed in the Democratic primary and is heavily favored to beat Republican Maria Hustace and Libertarian Richard Rowland in the general election. Mass. governor's primary today
BEFORE 1990, the Massachusetts Democratic Party reigned supreme in statewide politics and held a firm grip on the governor's office. Now the party's field of gubernatorial candidates is fighting just to get the public's attention.
In today's primary election, one of three Democrats - former state Sen. George Bachrach of Watertown, state Sen. Michael Barrett of Cambridge, and state Rep. Mark Roosevelt of Boston - will emerge as the Democratic standard bearer to challenge Gov. William Weld in November.
None of the Democrats has run for statewide office before, and from the start they have battled to get themselves recognized.
``Too few people know any of us,'' Mr. Barrett told the Associated Press last week. ``Getting the Democratic nomination has been tantamount to final election. That's now changed for good.''
To win back people who voted for Governor Weld in 1990, both Barrett and Mr. Roosevelt have billed themselves as Democrats who don't fit the traditional mold.
Barrett often says he wants to blend the Democrats' liberal reputation for helping the needy with the Republican Party's reputation for fiscal conservativism. Roosevelt, who won the endorsement of Democratic activists at the party's convention in June, has criticized Democratic policies of the 1980s, some of which he once embraced. He says it's time to stop handouts to welfare recipients, whom he would give a year to find jobs.
But where Roosevelt and Barrett have staked out moderate ground, Mr. Bachrach has called himself the only true Democratic liberal in the race. He would try to make the state the sole provider of health insurance and would support spending money to restore cuts in the state's human services budgets.
A victory in the primary will make ``a huge impact'' on fund raising, says Tripp Jones, campaign manager for Roosevelt, helping the nominee get money from more national donors.