Kawakami tops race for council

LIHUE — With 12 of 16 precincts reported, Derek Kawakami led the race for Kauai County Council.

“It’s truly humbling, and I plan to work very hard and focus on what I can do for Kauai,” Kawakami said. “If I am blessed to get back on the County Council, I look forward to working very hard with the people of Kauai and Niihau.”

As of the second printout, which came in at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Kawakami, who gave up his seat in the state House of Representatives to run for County Council, received 8,526 votes, or 9.8 percent.

Ross Kagawa, incumbent, came in shortly after Kawakami, at 8 percent, receiving 6,970 votes.

Kagawa was followed by incumbents Arryl Kaneshiro, Mel Rapozo and KipuKai Kauli’i.

“This is kind of what I expected,” Rapozo said. “Being the chair, you become the lightning rod, so you expect to lose some popularity, but that was a risk I was willing to take.”

Arthur Brun, who ran in the last election, also made the top seven, receiving 5,072 of the votes, or 5.8 percent.

JoAnn Yukimura, incumbent, rounded up the top seven, receiving 4,413 votes, or 5.1 percent. If elected to the council, Yukimura, former mayor, will serve 11 terms on the Kauai County Council.

Looking at Saturday night’s results, Yukimura said her team needs to step it up going into the general election.

“We’re going to have to work really hard,” she said. “My practice has always been to work really hard, and use it as an opportunity to reach out and hear people.”

In the next three months, Yukimura said she plans to educate people on her stance on the issues.

“I hope those who want to see me elected will support me,” she said.

When it comes to campaigning, Yukimura said she lets her actions speak for themselves.

“I do my job well on the council; that’s my first responsibility. I hope people will see that I am representing them well.”

Juno-Ann Apalla, a newcomer to the race, ended the second printout with 2,950 votes, or 3.4 percent.

“In the first printout, we were in the bottom three, but we climbed a little bit,” she said. “Now, we’re above four other candidates.”

Apalla said she would have been happy with just 100 votes.

“It’s incredible that more than 2,000 people have faith in what I can offer,” she said.

All 13 of the Kauai County Council candidates will advance to the general election.

The final results of the Kauai County Council primary elections, which were released just after 2 a.m. are:

w Derek Kawakami: 10,153, or 9.5 percent

w Ross Kagawa:  8,147, or 7.6 percent

w Arryl Kaneshiro:  8,105, or 7.6 percent

w Mel Rapozo:  7,966 , or 7.5 percent

w KipuKai Kuali’i:  6,169, or  5.8 percent

w Arthur Brun:  6,075 , or 5.7 percent

w Mason Chock:  5,610, or  5.2 percent 

w JoAnn Yukimura:  5,570, or 5.2 percent

w Gary Hooser:  5,035, or 4.7 percent

w Juno-Ann Apalla:  3,603, or 3.4 percent

w Norma Doctor Sparks:  3,456, or 3.2 percent

w Richard Fukushima:  2,782, or 2.6 percent

w Matt Bernabe:  2,264 , or 2.1 percent

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