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Posted: Monday, August 11th, 2014 12:37 PM HST

Storm victims likely to decide Hawaii Senate race

By Associated Press

HILO, Hawaii (AP) Storm-beaten seaside communities on Hawaii's Big Island are fighting to restore electricity and running water and likely will decide who will hold the state's U.S. Senate seat.

Two voting precincts in the region hardest hit by Tropical Storm Iselle were closed during Saturday's primary, and some 8,000 people are being asked to vote by mail for either U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz or U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in an Democratic primary race that is still too close to call.

Both Schatz and Hanabusa plan to be in the region, pledging to help with the cleanup effort and potentially picking up a few votes.

Schatz says he's working to immediately bring federal recovery resources to the Big Island.

Hanabusa says the mail-in ballots give an unusual voice to a remote section of Hawaii.

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