Kauai campaign season underway

LIHUE — Election season has begun and candidate filings are coming in.

Three candidates have put their names in the hat for Kauai County Council: Juno-Ann Apalla of Lihue, Matthew Bernabe of Kapaa and incumbent KipuKai Kuali‘i.

For prosecuting attorney, Lisa Arin is the only candidate to have filed nomination papers.

No one has pulled or filed papers for House Representative of Districts 14, 15 or 16.

Sue Yoshimoto, senior elections clerk for the County of Kauai, said her office thought the filings would come in at a quicker pace as soon as the period opened Feb. 1.

In previous years, however, filings have been sporadic and can come at any time throughout the given period, she said.

“Candidates have until June 7 to file, so there’s no real give or take as to time,” Yoshimoto said. “It depends.”

Rep. James Tokioka of District 15 said that he’ll pull his papers down the road.

Rep. Dee Morikawa of District 16 said she wants to pull her papers early on, but won’t file until early June “after I finish my legislative work.”

Bernabe, a regular at council meetings, said for this election, he is running on consistency and has heard positive things from people who have heard his opinions at meetings. He also wants to set an example for his children.

He said he’s willing to challenge the administration and educate people on due process, even though that may put him “out in left field.”

“I want the people to know in those cases due process is important,” Bernabe said.

For county prosecutor, Arin, 51, is running against incumbent 42-year-old Justin Kollar, who beat Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho in November 2012. She left the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney last July and began working family court cases.

“I approach the job of prosecutor with passion acquired from 20-plus years of handling thousands of criminal cases, talking to and working with victims, witnesses, police, and defendants,” Arin said. “There is no substitute for this type of hands-on experience.”

Those interested in the office of prosecuting attorney, county council and state reps must fill out an application for a nomination paper and obtain the 15 minimum required amount of signatures.

For the signatures to be valid, they must come from folks who live and are registered to vote in the district where the candidate is seeking office.

Candidates must also pay a fee when they file their papers. For prosecutor, councilmember and state representative, it’s $250. A discounted fee of $25 is also available if the candidate agrees to spend no more than $52,000 on their campaign.

Candidates who want to file for office have four months to complete their applications.

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Michelle Iracheta, cops and courts reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or miracheta@thegardenisland.com. Follow Michelle on Twitter @cephira

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