Campbell Cavasso

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Cam Cavasso
Cam Cavasso.jpg
Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives
from the 20th district
In office
January 1985 – January 1991
Preceded byMazie Hirono
Succeeded byJackie Young
Personal details
Born (1950-10-14) October 14, 1950 (age 69)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Tula Cavasso
EducationUniversity of Colorado, Boulder (BA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Campbell "Cam" Cavasso (born October 14, 1950), is an American politician, businessman and member of the Republican Party. He served three consecutive terms in the Hawaii House of Representatives from January 1985 to January 1991, representing House District 51 in Windward Oahu.[1] He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii in 2002 and was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and 2010, losing on both occasions to Democratic incumbent Daniel Inouye. He was also the Republican nominee for the same seat in a 2014 special election, losing to Democrat Brian Schatz, who was appointed to the seat in 2012 after Inouye died. Cavasso was the 2018 Republican nominee for Hawaii's 1st congressional district and lost to Democrat Ed Case.

Early life[edit]

Cavasso was born on October 14, 1950 in San Francisco, California, the eldest of three sons (Joseph and David younger brothers) of Leon Cavasso Jr., a coffee broker and salesman, and June Campbell Cavasso, a homemaker, secretary, and daughter of a New Jersey Christian minister and pastor, Charles Henry Campbell, and his wife Elsie Campbell. His paternal great–grandfather, Frank Davey, was a Hawaii adventurer and photographer who served the royalty in the Hawaiian Kingdom in the late 19th Century. Davey's photographs include those of Princess Kaiulani on the steps of her home at Ainahou, Hawaii and the “Lei Makers” in the early years of Honolulu. Davey’s caricature was carried in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser in their edition of June 28, 1902.

Cavasso and his family relocated to Oahu, Hawaii in October 1961, and he graduated from Kailua Elementary School, Kailua Intermediate School, and Kailua High School.

Early adulthood[edit]

Awarded a four-year ROTC scholarship to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1973. In his junior year, he spent two semesters as a foreign exchange student at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Upon graduation from the University of Colorado, he served five years in the United States Army from 1973–78, rising to the rank of Captain.

Cavasso currently resides with Tula, his wife of thirty-two years, and four children and four grandchildren on a small six and one-half acre turf farm in Waimanalo, Hawaii. He is a lay minister in his Christian church and has served as a Bible Study group teacher.

He is also a longtime avid canoe paddler and current steersman for a senior master crew, has paddled for Lanikai, Kailua, and Kai One, and has stated that paddling is “rewarding and fun.”[2]

Cavasso is a 31-year veteran financial advisor with the Mass Mutual Financial Group[citation needed] and the owner of Hydroseed Hawaii, LLC, a small business contracting company specializing in hydromulching.[3]

Political career[edit]

Legislative tenure[edit]

Cavasso was elected to three consecutive terms in the Hawaii State House of Representatives, winning elections in 1984, 1986 and 1988.[1]

2002 lieutenant gubernatorial election[edit]

In 2002, he sought the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii. He finished third with 10,085 votes (13.88%), behind television news anchor Dalton Tanonaka, who took 27,142 votes (37.36%), and former Circuit Court judge Duke Aiona, who won the primary with 35,422 votes (48.76%).[4] Aiona thus became the running mate of former Maui Mayor Linda Lingle; the pair won the election and were inaugurated in December 2002.

2004 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Cavasso ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and won the Republican nomination against three minor challengers, receiving 20,910 votes (49.55%). In the general election, he faced seven-term incumbent Democrat Daniel Inouye and lost in a landslide. Inouye won 313,629 votes (75.51%) to Cavasso's 87,172 (20.99%).[5]

2010 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Cavasso again ran for the U.S. Senate again in 2010, winning the Republican primary with 23,033 votes (66.94%).[6] He ran on a platform of change and emphasized the need for a balanced budget. He was again defeated in the general election by Inouye, taking 79,939 votes (21.57%) to his 277,228 (74.81%).

2014 U.S. Senate election[edit]

After Inouye died in December 2012, Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz to the seat. A special election was held to finish the remaining two years of Inouye's term. Cavasso won the Republican primary with 25,621 votes (72.40%) and faced Schatz in the general election. He was defeated by 246,827 votes (69.8%) to 98,006 (27.7%).

2018 U.S. House election[edit]

After incumbent Colleen Hanabusa decided to retire upon a run for the Democratic nomination as Governor of Hawaii, Cavasso ran for the seat. He won the Republican primary with 9,531 votes (81.4%) and lost to Democratic nominee Ed Case in the general election. Case won 134,603 votes (70.3%) to Cavasso's 42,480 (22.2%).

Political positions[edit]

Cavasso is a strong supporter of social conservative political positions.[7] He identifies as a constitutional and fiscal conservative and believes that "individuals, not government, are best at solving problems and creating opportunities."[7]


  1. ^ a b "State of Hawaii House of Representatives" (PDF). State of Hawaii. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  2. ^ "Honolulu Star Bulletin Paddling Article". Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  3. ^ "Hydroseed Hawaii Website". Archived from the original on August 6, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  4. ^ "Hawaii Primary Election Results" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 11, 2012.
  5. ^ "2004 Senate Election Statistics". CNN.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2016-11-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b "Cam Cavasso's Profile". Retrieved June 10, 2010.[dead link]

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Crystal Young
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Hawaii
(Class 3)

2004, 2010, 2014
Succeeded by
John Carroll