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Meet the newest House member, Charles Djou (R-Hawaii) -- GOP takes Obama's home district

Yes, of course, The Ticket Twittered it. And if you followed us (see bottom of this item to do so), you would already know.

But in case you were otherwise occupied early Sunday morning mainland time, voters in Hawaii's First Congressional District opted for a Republican member of the House in a special election Saturday.

He's Charles Djou (de-jew), a Honolulu city councilman.

He's now enroute to Washington to claim the district's seat for the GOP for the first time in 10 terms. He'll have to run again in November, and next time feuding Democrats may not split their votes. On the other hand, the same district's voters opted for Republicans George W. Bush by 47% in 2004 and Gov. Linda Lingle in 2006 with 65% of their ballots.

But Djou tells the Fox News Channel he's already making plans (See video below).

“Back in January when this seat became an open seat for a special election," Djou said, "I was polling in the teens. Everybody told me that this congressional seat was purchased and the wholly owned property of the Democratic Party."

But for now, as a Republican, he's enjoying the first flipped special election in nine years and the first GOP special election win this cycle.

How'd he do it?

“I think the American people are clearly frustrated that the government is spending too much of our money. I will never ever forget that every single dollar the government spends comes from a family like yours.”

Meanwhile at the White House, Democrat Barack Obama was holding a reception to celebrate the contributions of Asian Americans to the country's society. Rep.-elect Djou won't make this one in time.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

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Djou will be a footnote in November when he has to run against one Democrat and loses. "How'd he do it?" the entry asks--by getting 40 percent of the vote. Cute twist with Obama hosting an Asian-American event, but hardly a meaningful victory for the Republicans.

But for now, as a Republican, he's enjoying the first flipped special election in nine years and the first GOP special election win this cycle.

Charles is going to surprise everyone with a strong victory in November. Even in the almost automatic Democratic state of Hawaii you can only fool the people for so long.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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