I was honored to be re-elected to the Hawaii State House of Representatives on November 2, 2004. It was a tough election against a Republican opponent who previously ran against me as a Democrat in the 2002 Primary Election. My opponent got the full backing of Governor Linda Lingle and Lt. Governor Duke Aiona, who walked certain areas in my district and appeared in several brochures. The Republican Party sent a couple of negative “hit” pieces against me. It appeared in the last two weeks of the campaign, I was outspent two to one.
My opponent encouraged certain groups to vote for him. The governor helped him by focusing on an area she won in 2002, which was my opponent's weakest area of support. My opponent took the governor's platform as his own.
My goal was to focus on my legislative accomplishments and vision for Hawaii. As with my first campaign, I reached out to my entire district. Since a majority of my legislation was in the areas of economic development and education and I had a moderate voting record, I hoped I was able to touch a broad range of residents whether they are professionals, business owners, or labor workers.
On November 17-19, I attended the Japan-U.S. Cities Summit sharing ideas on economic development and sustainable cities. On December 11-12, I attended the Center for Policy Alternative's Summit on the States where state legislators from around the country discuss policy on various issues. Both conferences were very interesting and informative. It was great to hear case studies of other cities and think of ways to apply their successes and lessons learned to making Hawaii a better place.
For my second term, I will be a member of the House leadership as a Majority Whip. I will continue as vice chair of the Committee on Tourism and Culture. I am also continuing as a member for the committes on Economic Development & Business Concerns, Agriculture, and Finance.