It’s e-day for council, board of ed candidates

Sixteen candidates for Kaua`i County Council and three for Kauai’s seat on

the state Board of Education will find out by tonight which two of them will be

on the sidelines after turning the corner in the primary election and heading

for the general election in November.

The election-day polls for the

primary opened this morning at 7 and will close at 6 p.m. Officials expect a

good handle on who’s in and who’s out within a few hours after the last vote is

cast.

The 14 top votegetters for council who remain after ballots are

tabulated will compete for seven seats in the Nov. 7 general election.

Few

veteran election watchers expect any of the seven council incumbents to finish

out of the primary running.

There were 17 candidates originally, one was

lost when Bob Meyers of Kalaheo died while in Washington, D.C. for a Hawaiian

sovereignty demonstration earlier this summer.

Two of the nine remaining

challengers – William (Kaipo) Asing and John Barretto – are former council

members and are considered strong opposition for the seven incumbents. The

latter are Ron Kouchi, Bryan Baptiste, Gary Hooser, James Tokioka, Daryl

Kaneshiro, Billy Swain and Randal Valenciano.

A former civil defense

director for the county, Cayetano “Sonny” Gerardo, is also a known commodity

with voters.

Joseph Prigge, Kauilani Kahalekai, Anne Donovan, Rhoda Libre,

Rodger Ridgley and perennial candidate Robert Cariffe are the most likely

candidates to be battling it out to avoid elimination today.

Three people

are running for the Board of Education seat occupied by Mitsugi Nakashima.

Challenging the incumbent from Kalaheo are longtime educator Sherwood Hara and

William Georgi.

The third-place finisher will be eliminated, while the two

survivors will fight it out in the general election.

Voter turnout for the

primary is almost always lower than for the general election.

Absentee

walk-in balloting, which ended Thursday, has been running slightly behind the

1998 primary. But with a presidential race wrapping up in November, that is

expected to change in the general election.

Although Kauaians can’t vote in

it, the only other primary race of local interest here is for mayor of

Honolulu. The incumbent, Jeremy Harris, is a former Kaua’i County Council

member who once ran for mayor here. He has two opponents – Mufi Hannemann and

Frank Fasi, an ex-mayor of Honolulu and also a former Kaua’i resident while

serving in the Army during World War II.

Staff writer Dennis Wilken

can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) and [

HREF=”mailto:dwilken@pulitzer.net”>dwilken@pulitzer.net]

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