Results: Democratic incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz defeats Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott in Hawaii's US Senate election

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Al Drago/AP Photo; Bob McDermott's campaign; Insider
  • Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz ran against Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott to represent Hawaii in the US Senate.

  • Schatz raised over $4 million, while McDermott did not report raising any money for his campaign.

  • McDermott told a local news outlet that running against Schatz "looks like a suicide mission."

Democratic incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz defeated Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott in Hawaii to represent the state in the US Senate.


Hawaii's Senate race candidates

Schatz, first elected in 2012, won another six-year term in the US Senate. He chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and also serves on the Senate Democratic Caucus' leadership team as chief deputy whip.

Climate change is Schatz's top priority in Washington, and he's helped secure federal funding to address a wide array of issues in the Aloha State, including realigning the Honoapiilani Highway in West Maui, which is threatened by sea level rise. Schatz, 49, also chairs the Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Prior to his time on Capitol Hill, Schatz was the the lieutenant governor of Hawaii and served for nearly a decade in the Hawaii House of Representatives.

McDermott is a Marine veteran who currently represents the 40th District in the Hawaii House of Representatives. He said his challenging an established, senior senator who has virtually no competition "looks like a suicide mission," but if he "succeeds at nothing else," he hopes to raise the profile of Red Hill — a World War II era facility that sprung a fuel leak and poisoned the water system for nearly 100,000 residents near Pearl Harbor.

"I know it looks like a suicide mission, I'm not crazy," McDermott told the Honolulu Civil Beat. "If I succeed at nothing else I hope that Red Hill continues to be an issue moving forward because my kids and grandkids drink this water too."

Hawaii's voting history

The state voted for Joe Biden over then-President Donald Trump by a margin of about 30 percentage points in the 2020 election. Hawaiians have voted Democratic in every election except in 1972 and 1984, when the state gave wins to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, respectively.

The money race

According to OpenSecrets, Schatz raised $4.6 million, spent $4.7 million, and had $2.1 million cash on hand, as of October 19. His challenger, McDermott, did not reported raising any money for his campaign.

What experts say

The race between Schatz and McDermott was rated as "solid Democratic" by Inside Elections, "solid Democratic" by The Cook Political Report, and "safe Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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