Final slate – Four seek mayor’s seat; 29 enter Council race

Election officials will have to squeeze 29 names on the ballot for County Council again this year.

Kaua’i residents will also have to get used to the end of a woman’s touch at the head of county politics, as Mayor Maryanne Kusaka’s seat will be now filled by a man. Councilmen Bryan Baptiste (R); Ron Kouchi (D); and Randal G.B. Valenciano (D) are all hoping to be the next in line in this non-partisan race. Dennis S. Nimkie (I), longtime advocate for the poor and senior citizens.

Former Kaua’i mayor JoAnn Yukimura is returning to the world of Kaua’i politics with a run for a council seat. Yukimura played an active role in the council as a member in the 1970s and 1980s, and served as mayor from 1988 -1994.

Of the original 38 people who took out nomination papers for the non-partisan council, three have decided to run for other seats and six did not return their papers. Rosemarie Holt (R) filed for State Senate, District 7; Lloyd Jeffrey Mallan (L) for U.S. Representative against incumbent Patsy Mink; and Randal Valenciano has filed for Kaua’i County Mayor.

Elections Division reports showed that 14 candidates waited until the last week to file for council, and five waited until Tuesday, the last day to do so.

A fourth councilman, Gary L. Hooser (D), of Wailua Homesteads, is vacating his seat to run for State Senate, leaving four seats on the council up for grabs.

The remaining three councilmen, who will all seek re-election, are Daryl Kaneshiro (D), of Koloa, chairman of the Economic Development Committee; James Kunane Tokioka (R), of Lihu’e, chairman of the Finance Relations Committee; and Bill “Kaipo” Asing (D), longtime councilman, chair of the Community Assistance Committee and unsuccessful mayoral candidate in 1998.

The last time that quite so many people filed for council was in 1990 when 29 candidates also ran. Twenty ran in 1992, 17 in 1994 and 2000, and 21 in 1998.

Of the 29 council hopefuls, 12 are listed as Democrats; six are running as Republicans; nine are nonpartisan candidates; and one is affiliated with the Hawaii Green Party.

Running for the Second United States Congressional District against incumbent Patsy T. Mink (D), is Libertarian candidate Lloyd Jeffrey Mallan, a small business owner from Kapa’a.

In the state Legislature, incumbent senator Jonathan Chun, (D) is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Gary Hooser (D) the newly-created Senate District 7. Rosemarie Holt (R), from Lihu’e is running unopposed as a Republican primary candidate and will face the winner of the Chun-Hooser contest.

Reapportionment, or redistricting, and the end of “canoe districts” means that state representatives are shifting their focus from representing sections of two counties, to focusing just on Kaua’i County.

Nelson Secretario (R), a Kaua’i councilman from 1994-96, is running for state Representative in House District 14. The newly-created district encompasses neighborhoods from Wailua Houselots to Ha’ena, taking over the old district that covered North Kaua’i and East Maui. Secretario will run against incumbent Mina Morita (D) in the general election; both are unopposed in the primary election.

Juan Lugo (R), of Lihu’e; and Dr. Harold C. Spear III (R) of Hanapepe will oppose each other in the Republican primary contest. The winner will face the re-election bid of Ezra Kanoho, D-Lihu’e-Puhi-Waipouli. Kanoho is unopposed in the Democratic primary. The reapportioned House District 15 includes areas of Lawa’i, Koloa, Lihu’e and Wailua Homesteads.

Bertha Kawakami, D-South, West Kaua’i-Ni’ihau, is also seeking re-election, in House District 16, another reapportionment. District 16 includes Ni’ihau, Po’ipu Beach and parts of Koloa and areas west of Lawa’i. Running against her will be either Jose M. Felix-Keamoi (R), of ‘Ele’ele, or JoAnne S. Georgi (R), of Kalaheo, the two candidates in the Republican primary for the district.

The primary election is scheduled for Sept. 21, and the general election for Nov. 5

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