Democrat Hirono wins US Senate primary in Hawaii

By OSKAR GARCIA | August 12, 2012 | 4:41 AM EDT

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, right, does some last minute campaigning Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012 in Honolulu. Hirono is running for the Democratic nomination for a Hawaii seat in the U.S. Senate. Hawaii holds is primary election today. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has won the Democratic primary in Hawaii for an open U.S. Senate seat, setting up a race in November against former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle.

Hirono bested former U.S. Rep. Ed Case on Saturday night to set up a rematch of sorts against Lingle. Lingle beat Hirono 10 years ago to become Hawaii's chief executive, then went on to serve eight years.

Lingle won her primary easily. Republicans hope she can swing the solidly blue state their way in the party's quest to pick up four seats and majority power in the U.S. Senate.

Lingle enters the general election as the underdog but having raised more funds thus far than Hirono.

Hirono had nearly 58 percent of the vote with 70 percent of precincts reporting.