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Controversial Candidate Running as Republican in One District, Democrat in Another

HONOLULU — Angela Aulani Kaaihue, the winner of the Republican nomination to run against Democratic incumbent Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, has also filed to run as a Democrat in a special election to complete the term of the late Rep. Mark Takai (D) in the 1st Congressional District, according to Honolulu Civil Beat.

Angela Kaaihue

Angela Kaaihue

Both elections will be held on Nov. 8, and both parties have disavowed Kaaihue bigoted remarks she has made about other candidates. The Democratic Party of Hawaii (DPH) filed suit against Kaaihue and Hawaii Chief Election Officer Scott Nago with the First Circuit Court on Sept. 14 to stop the candidate from running in District 1.

Pointing out that Kaaihue won the Republican primary in District 2, the suit stated, “On Aug. 16, 2016, DPH, through its secretary, notified Kaaihue by letter that, as a result of her running for office as a member of another party, she was expelled from DPH… Kaaihue, in spite of the expulsion notice of Aug. 16, filed the [District 1] special election papers, claiming to be a Democrat.

“Kaaihue’s false representation to the Office of Elections … a. Misleads or confuses the public as to her party affiliation; b. Arrogates herself the imprimatur of the DPH, to which she is not entitled; c. Abuses the self-subscribed oath requisite to any filing. Kaaihue has taken no steps to rectify the situation …”

According to the suit, the Office of Elections declined to take action and said DPH only had recourse through the Circuit Court.

Kaaihue said in a statement, “I’m not in violation of any policies. As far as I’m concerned, changing parties is construed as a positive thing.”

Takai, who had planned to serve out his term, died in July from pancreatic cancer. Kaaihue’s claim that she is “healthy” and “cancer-free” while campaigning for Takai’s seat has been widely criticized as insensitive.

Kaaihue has posted a profanity-laced tirade against Japanese, which read, in part, “I will give the Hawaiians and the Haoles jobs as judges, prosecutors and police officers, and put the Japs in jail, and in f—ing internment camps where you f—ing belong…”

Characterizing her campaign as a “holy war,” she has lashed out against Gabbard, who is Hindu, and Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono, who is Buddhist, stating that they believe in “false religion” and declaring, “It’s time to take a stand for God!”

In a post prior to the August primary, Kaaihue, who has described Hinduism as a “satanic cult,” showed pictures of the District 2 candidates and wrote, “Are you voting 4 Christianity this year? … Guess who’s the Christian, guess who’s the person who believes in God, and not strange gods.”

In another post, she appeared to support Keahiokahonua Stewart, formerly of Waianae, who was arrested in Tennessee on Sept. 14 for threatening to kill Gabbard and Hirono. Along with a link to the story, Kaaihue wrote, “America doesn’t like Cannibal Hindus and Buddahs [sic]who support them! I see Christians from all over the USA uniting in GODS name.”

On Aug. 19, Republican Party of Hawaii Chairman Fritz Rohlfing said, “I want it understood by the general public and the media that the recent inflammatory comments made by candidate for Congress (CD2) Angela Kaaihue do not represent the views, values, or the sentiments of our party and its members. Her vulgar, racially bigoted, and religiously intolerant descriptions of Democratic Party candidates are offensive, shameful, and unacceptable in public discourse.

“I unconditionally denounce her despicable statements. I strongly urge all Hawaii Republicans to join me in disavowing her candidacy.”

“It’s really interesting to watch both the Democratic and Republican party buckle to their knees,” Kaaihue told NBC News. “I think they are dumbfounded and astonished at what I’m able to achieve. I’m actually enjoying myself. The Hawaii State Elections Office said it was legal, so why wouldn’t anyone take opportunity of the impossible and make it possible?”

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