Hawaii congressional candidate Djou waves signs at 4 a.m. every morning

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

Billboards in Hawaii are illegal, so candidates for office there have found creative alternatives to display their campaign signs — carefully orchestrated sign wavings during rush hour.

Charles Djou, the Republican candidate running for Rep. Neil Abercrombie’s House seat, said the billboard law doesn’t apply to a person holding a sign and expressing their freedom of speech. As a result, he gets up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to hit a busy intersection with supporters and wave at passers-by — while holding a “Djou for Congress” sign. He visits another intersection with his supporters during the afternoon rush.

“It’s the cheapest way to get name ID,” Djou said during a happy hour last night at a Washington steak house with several reporters. He said there’s actually some strategy involved, such as making sure he brings a diverse group of supporters.

Djou is seen as a Scott Brown-type figure who could pick up a seat for Republicans that has long gone to Democrats. He’s facing state senate President Colleen Hanabusa and former Hawaii Rep. Ed Case in a winner-take-all special election in May.

He went to President Obama’s high school in Hawaii and attended classes with the president’s sister. “Had I known her older brother would be president, I would’ve asked her out to prom,” he said with a laugh.