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Crowded field for council

A mini-surge of candidates filed to run for a seat on the Kaua‘i County Council just hours before the deadline lapsed yesterday at the Historic County Building.

The field for the Sept. 20 primary and Nov. 4 general election is now set.

Three incumbents are not seeking reelection to the council and all seven seats on the legislative body are up for grabs.

Council members JoAnn Yukimura and Mel Rapozo are running for mayor against county Parks and Recreation Director Bernard Carvalho. A fourth mayoral candidate, Kapa‘a resident Rolf Bieber, filed on Monday.

The top vote-getter will take office Dec. 1 for the remaining two years of the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste’s second term.

More than 150 residents rallied yesterday evening on the lawn in front of the Historic County Building where Rapozo delivered a statement on why he is running for mayor.

“What matters most is not your name, your race, your color … but what you do for others,” he said, a bit choked up. “I’ll set the priorities. I’ll set the direction.”

Councilwoman Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, who attended Rapozo’s event, is running unopposed for county prosecutor.

Of the 22 candidates running for council, eight filed their nomination papers yesterday, according to the uncertified 2008 candidate filing information. Candidates have until 4:30 p.m. today to withdraw from the race, according to state law.

The incumbents seeking another two-year term on the council are Tim Bynum, Bill “Kaipo” Asing, Jay Furfaro and Ron Kouchi. Asing was appointed to serve as interim mayor until Dec. 1.

The council candidate list also includes Robert Bartolo, Lani Kawahara, Derek Kawakami, Kipukai “Leslie” Kuali‘i, Bob Cariffe, Christobel Kealoha, John Hoff, Harry Kaneakua, Dickie Chang, Bruce Pleas, Nancy McMahon, Linda Pasadava, Rhoda Libre, Ken Taylor, Ron Agor, George Thronas, Scott Mijares and Daryl Kaneshiro.

Kaneshiro was appointed to temporarily fill the empty council seat created when Asing resigned. The former councilman and rancher will return to the legislative table at the council meeting today at the Historic County Building.

At the state level, all four incumbents serving at the Legislature representing Kaua‘i are seeking re-election. They are Sen. Gary Hooser, D-Kaua‘i/Ni‘ihau; and Reps. Hermina Morita, D-14th District; James Tokioka, D-15th District; and Roland Sagum, D-16th District.

‘Ele‘ele resident Joanne Georgi, a Republican, has filed to run against Hooser.

The three members of the House are running unopposed.

Seats on the state Board of Education and Office of Hawaiian Affairs will also be on the November ballot.

Kapa‘a resident Lawrence Fillhart and Margaret Cox of Lihu‘e are vying for Kaua‘i’s sole seat on the school board that is up for election.

Koloa resident Donald Cataluna is running unopposed to represent Kaua‘i as an OHA trustee.

At the federal level, the seats of U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie, D-1st District, and Mazie Hirono, D-2nd District, are up for election. The terms are two years with no limit.

Four candidates are looking to run against Hirono for the 2nd District congressional seat, which covers the Neighbor Islands and rural O‘ahu. They are Republicans Roger Evans and I Am, nonpartisan Elizabeth Stone, and Libertarian Lloyd Mallan of Kapa‘a.

The last day to register to vote in the primary is Aug. 21; the last day for the general election is Oct. 6.

Voters can now request mail-in absentee ballots.

For more information, visit www.kauai.gov or call the Elections Division at 241-6350.

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