Republican Carroll endorses Democrat Hirono for U.S. Senate

 UPDATED 2:13 PM HST Aug 24, 2012
HONOLULU -

John Carroll, who challenged Linda Lingle to be Hawaii's U.S. Senate Republican nominee in the Primary Election, endorsed U.S. Democratic nominee Mazie Hirono Friday.

Carroll called it a "gut decision" about who he personally trusts.  He is critical of Lingle's record.

Carroll said is staying with the Republican Party and will be voting for Republican candidates for the U.S. House, State House and State Senate.  But in this particular race, he is endorsing Hirono.

"I believe that Ms. Lingle is a clear and present danger to the economic and political health of this beloved State of Hawaii," said Carroll.  "Given her record as Hawaii's Republican Party Chair from 1999-2002, she only helped to elect one Republican State Senator out of 25 and eight Republican State Representatives out of 51, which is simply abysmal.  Her accomplishments and failures as Governor are equally depressing."

"So, my decision on whom to support is based on my perception of the candidate's character and sincerity to help Hawaii," explained Carroll.  "Of the two [Lingle and Hirono], I believe Mazie is predictable on issues and is of good and honest character, similar to Senator Daniel Akaka."

The Lingle campaign released this statement from Lenny Klompus, Lingle's Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director:

"Most endorsements are special and meaningful, while others don't mean a hill of beans.  John Carroll falls into the latter group by trying to once again put himself in the limelight by standing with a candidate with the most liberal voting record, after working hard and failing to be the grandfather of a conservative group of party faithful."

"In what has become a personal vendatta, he has embarrassed those in the party that once supported him.  Finally, in his last three races (2002, 2010, 2012) he didn't garnish more than 10 percent of the vote.  Carroll has not been a serious candidate and this is not a serious endorsement."

Carroll lost his bid for the Republican nomination to Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat to Linda Lingle in the Primary Election.  Although he considers himself a conservative, Carroll said many of his positions on issues, such as his advocacy for increasing tourism as well as pioneering legislation for protecting Hawaii's environment, are also more in line with Hirono.

Carroll served in the Air Force and Hawaii National Guard as a fighter pilot and legal officer.  He was also a Captain for Hawaiian Airlines for 30 years.  Carroll continues to practice law in downtown Honolulu.

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