Hawaii Democrats gather for state convention

Published On: May 24 2014 06:07:20 PM HST   Updated On: May 24 2014 07:40:04 PM HST

It promises to be an interesting primary. Hawaii Democrats gathered Saturday for their state convention at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's story.

"We are the party that still remembers what it took to develop a middle class from a society of haves and have-nots," said U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa.   

Even though this year's primary involves heated contests between Democratic rivals. Saturday was about party unity.

"Yes, we have some hard-fought primaries at the state legislative level and congressional level, but we come together because we have shared enduring values: equal opportunities, college affordability. These are the values we fight for," said U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono.

"The Hawaii Democratic Party is all about protecting and building the middle class. We know that Hawaii is the best place in the world to live, but it's really hard to make it for a lot of our families," said U.S. Senator Brian Shatz.  

Even with polls leaning heavily toward selecting Democratic candidates, officials said they still need to step up their game.

"There are lots of different areas of expression of concern. As I travel across the state, I keep hearing that many people just believe that the government has stopped listening. We need to restore trust in government," said state Sen. David Ige

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said each member of the party will focus on similar priorities.

"Whether it's preschool education, whether it's universal health care, whether it's adequate wages and benefits for people to recognize the hard work they do. All of these things are the subject matter for the party to take up," said Abercrombie.

The convention starts again at 8 a.m. Sunday.


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