Republicans scored a mid-term election victory by winning a Democratic-held congressional seat in Hawaii, in the district where President Barack Obama grew up, the latest triumph for the Republican Party as it looks to take back control of Congress.
But Democrats believe the success in Hawaii will be short-lived. The Republican winner will serve only through the remainder of 2010, and another election will be held in November for the next term. Democrats are confident they can win the seat back in November because the vote will not be split among several candidates, as it was on Saturday.
Still, the victory by Charles Djou, a Honolulu city councillor, was a blow to Democrats, who could not rally around a single candidate and find a way to win a congressional race that should have been easy. The seat had been Democrat for nearly 20 years.
"This is a momentous day," Mr Djou said. "We have sent a message to the United States Congress. We have sent a message to the national Democrats. We have sent a message to the machine. The congressional seat is not owned by one political party. This congressional seat is owned by the people."
Mr Djou gained 39.4 per cent of the votes. His Democrat rival, Colleen Hanabusa, won 30.8 per cent. ap