State races quietly come to an end

Politics can be a street fight. Whether it’s the race for president or for local office, competitors play rough. But this year’s state races for Kaua‘i seats were mostly uncontested and not very close.

Republican state Senate candidate Joanne Georgi admitted to being disappointed about losing her race against Democrat incumbent state Sen. Gary Hooser, but added that she “wished all the best” for the senator. “I hope and pray that legislators will be willing and/or able to make the tough decisions they’ll be facing in the future,” she said.

Hooser captured 17,228 votes, or 69.3 percent of the total. JoAnne Georgi had 5,431 votes,

Hooser called Tuesday “a great day for our country” and said Obama’s election signals a “turning point” in American politics. “Locally, I have friends who won, and friends who didn’t win. But I am grateful and humbled by the response for me, and my campaign, personally.”

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-2nd Hawai‘i, called Tuesday’s election “a historic, historic day, particularly for those of us who’ve been trying to make changes for decades.”

Hirono, who took 17,878, or 71.9 percent of the votes, said that she was looking forward to working with members of the Obama administration, and that she looked forward to the opportunity to vote in November on a second stimulus package, which she hopes will help boost Hawai‘i’s economy.

Commenting on Barack Obama’s victory speech the congresswoman said, “He gave a speech that I think was very sobering and that also continued our sense of hope.”

U.S. Representative candidate Roger Evans won 3,410, or 13.7 percent, of the votes; Lloyd Mallan won 359, or 1.4 percent; and Shaun Stenshol won 325, or 1.3 percent.

Hawai‘i’s voters defeated “ConCon,” the constitutional convention proposal, with 16,276, or 65.5 percent voting “No” against 6,486, or 26.1 percent, voting “Yes.” Princeville resident Walter Lewis called the outcome “unfortunate,” adding that he had hoped that a constitutional convention might lead to changes in Hawai‘i education. “I would think with all this talk about change, people would have been more supportive,” he said.

Other issues of state interest included the vote for Office of Hawaiian Affairs “At Large” trustee, and the Constitutional Amendment regarding age qualification for governor. The “no” votes won out decidedly, with 17,884 votes, or 71.9 percent compared to the 19.2 percent, or 4,768 voters, who said “yes.”

Haunani Apoliona won the “At Large” trustee seat with 7,264, or 29.2 percent, of the votes; Colin Kippen took 2,941, or 11.8 percent; Helene Honda wound up with 2,282 votes, or 9.2 percent; and Sol Nalua‘i finished with 1,633, or 6.6 percent.

The Kauai OHA Resident Trustee was uncontested, and will be filled by Donald Cataluna, who earned 13,928, or 56 percent, of the vote. Blank votes represented the other 44 percent, or 14,392 ballots.

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