Hawaii Democratic Candidate Backed by Ocasio-Cortez Loses Primary Race

August 12, 2018 Updated: August 12, 2018    

A candidate endorsed by Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lost his bid on on Aug. 11 to represent Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.

Kaniela Ing, 29, a fellow member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), finished fourth in the seven-candidate race. According to the latest data from Ballot Pedia, Ing collected 7,531 votes, or 6.3 percent of the vote, compared with Ed Case, who won with 47,482 votes, or 40 percent.

Case will face Republican nominee Cam Cavasso, a former state representative, in the general election.

The defeat was the latest blow to Ocasio-Cortez who defeated longtime Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) on June 26, in a surprising upset in New York. The Bronx-born candidate has tried to capitalize on her newfound spotlight by endorsing a slew of like-minded candidates in hopes of pushing her socialist message into the political mainstream.

In a statement, Ing wrote in an Aug. 12 Twitter post that: “Campaigns end, but movements don’t we won’t stop the FightForAloha,”

Over the last few weeks before the election, Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for Ing, both in person and through her social media.

“This isn’t just about electing Kaniela to Congress,” she wrote in an Aug. 9 Twitter post. “It’s about building and supporting a generation of leaders that will save our planet and fight for economic and social dignity for decades to come.”

In some of the primary elections that occurred on Aug. 7, three of the five hopefuls endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez were defeated by their Democratic opponents (a number of others who she has endorsed are awaiting their primaries).