HONOLULU — When it comes to politics, maybe opposites don’t attract after all.
Alaska’s Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, on Monday endorsed fellow-Republican Linda Lingle for Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat in the general election Nov. 6. The Alaska representative previously endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono in Hawaii’s Democratic primary. At the time, the Hirono campaign released a 90-second ad titled “Opposites Attract,” which touted Young and Hirono’s bipartisan teamwork on Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native issues.
But now Young is backing Lingle, saying the Republican has a strong bipartisan record that will benefit both Alaska and Hawaii.
“Bipartisanship leadership is what is lacking in the U.S. Senate and is what has brought our country to the edge of a fiscal cliff. Now more than ever Hawaii needs a real bipartisan leader to provide common sense governance to Washington, D.C.,” Young said in a letter sent to his Alaska supporters.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, also is in Hawaii campaigning for the former two-term governor.
When Young endorsed Hirono in the Democratic primary he told Hawaii residents in an ad that if they were “looking for a United States senator who doesn’t just talk about bipartisanship but actually knows how to work with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done, Mazie Hirono will be that senator.”
Young spokesman Luke Miller said at the time that the endorsement had little to do with party affiliation but who would best serve the people of Hawaii. But he made clear that the endorsement was specific to the primary.
Lingle said if she is elected she will work on behalf of Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives.
Hirono and Lingle are hoping to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka who is retiring.