POLITICS
10/21/2014 03:10 pm ET Updated Oct 21, 2014

This State Is A Reminder That Americans Can Elect More Than White Men

Let's face it: The 113th Congress is still, by and large, run by white men. But Hawaii's delegation is more diverse, with only one of the state's four members of Congress being a white man -- and that isn't likely to change in November's elections.

In Hawaii's 1st Congressional District, Mark Takai (D) and Charles Djou (R) -- both of whom are Asian-American -- are locked in a tight battle. In the 2nd District, incumbent and Samoan-American Tulsi Gabbard (D), the first Hindu in Congress, is expected to win with as much as 80 percent of the vote.

Appointed Sen. Brian Schatz (D) -- currently the only white male in Hawaii's delegation -- is heavily favored to carry the Senate seat that used to belong to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D), the first Japanese-American elected to both the House and Senate.

Hawaii's other Senate seat belongs to Japanese-American Mazie Hirono (D), who is not up for re-election this year. She is the first Asian-American woman to be elected to the Senate, the first U.S. senator born in Japan, and the nation's first Buddhist senator.

Hawaii's diversity on the ballot extends beyond Congress, too. Look no further than the state's race for governor. David Ige (D), a Japanese-American, is polling slightly ahead of his closest competitor, Duke Aiona (R), who is Portuguese, Native Hawaiian and Chinese-American. In August, Ige beat incumbent (and Caucasian) Neil Abercrombie in a historic primary upset.

The leading candidates for lieutenant governor are also diverse: Shan Tsutsui (D), who is a Japanese-American, and Elwin Ahu (R), who is Native Hawaiian and Chinese.

Hawaii's multicultural ballot isn't surprising considering the Aloha State is the only state in the union without an ethnic majority. Demographically, Hawaii has the highest percentage of multiracial Americans (23.6 percent), as well as the lowest percentage of white Americans (24.7 percent), of any state.

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