Charles Djou for Congress: Observations at a Parade

Charles Djou is a really positive candidate and has a strong chance of winning Hawai`i’s Special Election held May 22nd. He’s a well spoken former state representative and now a successful city councilman. He has experience as a professor of law, an army reservist and most importantly a devoted husband and father.

Charles Djou with Tim Lussier and Sara Duncan

Political insiders often look at money raised and the latest polls to gauge a candidate’s elect-ability. Charles not only has the polls in his favor, strong money raised but what I saw this weekend was an incredible connection with voters.

This last Saturday, I had the opportunity to walk in a parade with Charles at the Hawaiian Airlines’ 18th Annual Filipino Fiesta Parade in Waikiki

Charles Djou and wife Stacy

Currently Charles is leading his two closest democratic rivals. Early that morning I saw Colleen Hanabusa at the start of the parade but I quickly realized that she had just one actual volunteer. Choosing to march with a union showed a strong contrast between the two campaigns. Charles’ supporters came from all over the island and from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicity and truly all walks of life. Our group was made up of unpaid volunteers and coming because we believed in a wonderful candidate, interestingly we even had two tourists on vacation join us.

Kalakaua Avenue in the heart of Waikiki

With the union group yelling from their bullhorn far in front of us we proudly walked with Charles. People shouted their support; “Charles, I just turned in my ballot.” – “Hey, Djou you going to win this!” The enthusiasm from the average voter was palpable and positive.

At the end of the parade we saw the other leading democratic candidate Ed Case. Case was standing alone with a sign; Charles graciously walked up to him and shook his hand. The contrast was striking, Charles walking a parade with twenty something supporters and Case alone by himself. Was this a sign of the campaigns condition that he didn’t have volunteers to stand with him? I thought the contrast was revealing.

Charles was pulled aside and interviewed by Fox News. His points were spot-on. He delivered straight answers about his beliefs in lower taxes and fiscal responsibility.

Charles answers questions about his race

The parade concluded in Kapiolani Park and Charles warmly met voters and shook hands. Many asked for pictures. A father and son came over and Charles made one 12-year-old boy’s day by signing an autograph, the boy was so happy to see his ‘idol’ but couldn’t say anything he was so star struck. One of my favorite things about Charles is that he always shares with voters that his most important priority in life is being a good husband and father.

Charles with local voters

Normally a democratic candidate would have easily won this democratic District (President Obama’s home district) but both democratic candidates are trailing Charles. Charles has opened up a consistent lead. Over the past few months Charles has gone from being a long shot, to being tied and now is leading by 8 points.

This special election is incredibly close and thankfully Djou is leading raising money and ahead in the polls. But if what I saw this weekend is any indication of Djou’s support district wide then I believe we have a great chance of electing a republican here in the Aloha state’s first congressional district on May 22nd.

Mahalo nui loa


Tim Lussier is a President’s Leadership Scholar graduating this month with a Bachelor of
Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Entrepreneurial Studies from
Hawai`i Pacific University.
He’s lived in Waikiki for two years but calls West Linn, Oregon home.