Incumbents prevail in House races

LIHUE — The incumbent Democrats prevailed in the three state representative races on Saturday.

Rep. James Tokioka will advance in his quest for a fifth term holding the District 15 seat after defeating Dylan Hooser.

Tokioka celebrated with volunteers and supporters at Puakea Golf Course. With all five precincts counted by 9 p.m., he won with 63.5 percent, or 3,445, votes. He said it showed that a positive campaign will prevail over negative strategies on social media. Hooser finished with 1,616 votes for 29.8 percent.

“I just appreciate all of the support that the community has given me for the past 18 years,” Tokioka said. “I am pleased with the first turnout results and am thankful to the volunteers for all they have done in this campaign.”

In the general election, Tokioka will face Steven Yoder, who ran unopposed in his Republican primary. Yoder, a tour guide and bus driver with Best of Kauai Tour, received 542 votes.

Tokioka said his campaign will not be about reacting to what his opponent, but will continue to be a message about his experience and ability to work with the Kauai delegation to bring projects back to Kauai.

“We will keep running a positive campaign and we are proud about that,” Tokioka said.

Hooser, owner of “Sunrise Shells of Kauai” and the son of Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Dist. 16 State Rep. Dee Morikawa is seeking her third term. With five of six precincts reporting, she received 2,994 votes, 61.6 percent. Democratic challenger Thomas Kahawai, a retired pastor and property manager, finished with 1,208 votes, 24.9 percent.

Morikawa said the results show the district takes all issues into consideration and not just abortion, same-sex marriage and the single-issue politics of her opponent.

“Until those numbers came out, I was worried and this is a relief for me,” Morikawa said about her reaction on watching the initial numbers come in. “I am going to continue doing my work as a legislator and will run a positive campaign. I can understand the difference in issues more clearly when my opponent is with a different party, and I am a little more confident going into the general election.”

Republican challenger Victoria Franks, a mother or three and full-time minister ​with King’s Cathedral & Chapels ministry, is running on a platform of traditional family values. She defeated fellow GOP challenger and Westside grower Vince Flores. Franks received 300 votes to Flores’ 219.

“Mr. Flores is a really wonderful man and it was a pleasure getting to know him and everyone else who was running,” Franks said.

Franks said she is feeling positive and encouraged with the lead she had with five precincts reported. She said she is looking toward the general election with a goal of “making a stand, and making some changes.”

“People are beginning to wake up and realize that some of the decisions made in the past were kind of made without people consent,” Franks said. “Without getting to know the will of the people, the Legislature is making decisions on their behalf without the consent of the governed.”

Dist. 14 State Rep. Derek S.K. Kawakami was unopposed in the primary, and will seek a third term in the General Election against Republican challenger Jonathan K. Hoomanawanui, a county liquor control officer.


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