Bernard Carvalho Jr. will serve as mayor of Kauai for another four years.
Carvalho scored a convincing win over his challenger, professional surfer and mixed martial arts fighter Dustin Barca, after the third printout of results Tuesday evening.
With 16 of 16 precincts reporting, Carvalho accounted for 14,688 votes (64.1 percent) over Barca’s 8,195 (35.8 percent).
“We’re very excited,” Carvalho said by phone.
Carvalho said there are many issues facing Kauai and that he and his administration are committed to continuing to work hard for the community over the next four years.
“I want to send a big mahalo to all of our supporters for your confidence,” he said. “We’ll move right on forward with our mission and our goals.”
Barca, who campaigned against genetically modified organisms and for cultural revival, could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
Carvalho took over as mayor of Kauai and Niihau in 2008 when a special election had to be called after the death of former Mayor Bryan Baptiste.
Rapozo, Kagawa top vote getters
Five incumbents were re-elected to the Kauai County Council Tuesday.
With 16 of 16 precincts reporting, Mel Rapozo received 13,147 votes and Ross Kagawa received 12,387 to lead the way. Challenger Arryl Kaneshiro was third with 11,971 votes, while challenger KipuKai Kualii was fourth with 9,985. Incumbents JoAnn Yukimura (8,941), Mason Chock (8,730) and Gary Hooser (8,257) were re-elected.
Coming up short were Jay Furfaro (8,165), Arthur Brun (8,120), Darryl Perry (8,076), Felicia Cowden (7,917), Tim Bynum (7,602), Billy DeCosta ((7,243) and Tiana Laranio (5,665).
“We’re really excited, and I was actually quite surprised, but we’ve worked really hard,” said County Council contender Darryl Perry, who garnered 5,933 votes in the second printout for a seventh place finish by 8:30 p.m. “It’s still a little early, but I’m excited, I’m confident and I’m hoping that numbers will lead me in that direction.”
“Because based on the primary numbers, I came in at number nine, but I believed that, with some hard work, I could maybe get into the top seven,” Perry said.
Council contender KipuKai Kualii, who was in fourth place after absentee and precinct ballots had been counted, said he was excited about the early showing.
“Really excited,” he said of his initial reaction seeing the numbers. “We worked really hard, this campaign. I’m so thankful, grateful and humbled by it all.”
He said he was optimistic the early showing would hold on to a top seven finish and a council seat. In previous elections, early returns placed him seventh only to watch his finish slip away.
“I was hoping for the four or five in the early returns,” he said. “I was hoping for some room.”
The incumbent Kauai state representatives won big on Tuesday night.
District 15 State Rep. James Tokioka defeated Republican challenger Steven Yoder. With all 16 precincts reporting, Tokioka received 5,367 votes, or 74 percent of the vote, over Yoder’s 1,892 votes or 26 percent.
Tokioka said the returns made him feel great and credited his support team that helped guide his positive campaign.
“Campaigns are not run only during election time, they are run year-round for us,” Tokioka said. “I want to thank all of the candidates who run in these elections, because it is never easy and you never know what to expect. All you can do is be positive and hope.”
District 16 State Rep. Dee Morikawa won her Westside seat back against Republican challenger Victoria Franks. Morikawa received 5,320 votes, or 75 percent, over Franks’ 1,812 votes or 25 percent.
“I am thankful to have that opportunity to return to the work that I do,” Morikawa said.
District 14 State Rep. Derek S.K. Kawakami defeated Republican challenger Jonathan K. Hoomanawanui.
Kawakami was pleased with receiving 5,617 votes, or 76 percent, over Hoomanawanui’s 1,736 votes, 24 percent.