Andria Tupola easily won the Republican nomination to be the next governor of Hawaii. She will face the incumbent, Gov. David Ige in November.
Tupola, Native Hawaiian and Samoan, faces a tough challenge running as a Republican in a state where most voters consider themselves Democrats. (Tupola earned more than 16,000 votes in her winning party contest, while the Democratic nominee won his party's bid with more than 118,000 votes.)
There are now two Native women running for governors as the party nominee, Republican Tuopola in Hawaii, and Democrat Paulette Jordan in Idaho. Jordan is a Coeur d'Alene citizen. In a lot of ways the challenges of these two campaigns are mirror opposites: Idaho is as Republican as Hawaii is Democrat.
"We need to be different and make sure our message is heard," Tupola, told Hawaii News Now. She said her party affiliation is not what will carry the day, but her message of service will. "Your goal at the end of the day is to serve the people."
The Tupola campaign released her "victory speech" on Facebook. The candidate was surrounded by young people at the Kahuku High School in Punahou where they celebrated wins in the primary as well as by the team. They ended with a "war chant" and what in the states would be called the Tomahawk chop.
Tupola is a state representative and serves as House minority leader.
In the first congressional district, Kaniela Ing, who was running as a Democratic Socialist, took a distant fifth place in the Democratic primary. Former Rep. Ed Case won that race. Ing is Native Hawaiian.
And in the second congressional district, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard easily cruised to win the nomination for another term with more than 75 percent of the vote. She defeated Sherry Alu Campagna, Native Hawaiian.
(Related stories: Indigenous candidates make bid for Congress, governor and Sherry Alu Campagna challenges status quo ).
Mark Trahant is editor of Indian Country Today. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Follow him on Twitter - @TrahantReports