HONOLULU (AP) - A homeless handyman who won the Republican primary in Hawaii for an open U.S. House seat says he'll donate half his congressional salary to charity if he wins.
Kawika Crowley isn't expected to come close to beating Democrat Tulsi Gabbard in the general election Nov. 6. The 61-year-old self-employed repairman and painter has no real campaign budget, makes $15,000 in a good year and lives out of his van in Kaneohe.
But Crowley says the $179,000 annual congressional salary is "astronomical," so he'll donate $90,000 per year to the Wounded Warrior Project if he wins.
Crowley told The Associated Press that the congressional salaries are indicative of a government that's become bloated and dysfunctional.
"We must place this beast on a massive diet plan," Crowley said.
Crowley won his GOP primary last month after drawing just over 9,000 votes in a district that's heavily Democratic.
Gabbard's primary win over former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann also surprised state political circles. She drew nearly 63,000 votes, 54 percent, compared with less than 34 percent for Hannemann.
Gabbard and Crowley are hoping to replace U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, who is leaving her seat to run for the U.S. Senate.