WAILUA — Cheers rang through Brick Oven Pizza in Wailua Saturday night when Nadine Nakamura and her supporters received the first printout of election results from the 2016 primary election.
That printout showed she’d garnered more than half of the votes for the District 14 Representative seat in the state House of Representatives.
“I’m relieved,” Nakamura said. “It was a hard fought (race) and Fern was a tough opponent.”
The first round of voter results gave 66.1 percent to Nakamura of Kapaa, and 26.2 percent of the vote to her challenger, Fern Rosenstiel of Kapahi.
At the end of Saturday night, Nakamura walked away with 65.4 percent — a total of 1,788 votes, and Rosenstiel received 27.1 percent of the votes — a total of 741.
Twelve of the 16 precincts were in at press time.
Rosenstiel, who was surrounded by supporters at Tahiti Nui in Hanalei, said she is proud of the past few months of campaigning and she looks forward to working with Nakamura in the future.
“This has been an amazing experience and a strong issue-based campaign that provide our community with something we don’t often have: another choice,” Rosenstiel said.
Both women hinged their campaigns on tackling traffic — particularly in the Wailua corridor — affordable housing and the environment.
Nakamura is the former managing director for the County of Kauai. She also been a planner for the Department of Transportation for the City and County of Honolulu and project coordinator for the Pacific Housing Assistance Cooperation.
She also runs her own business, NKN Project Planning, based in Kapaa. She was on the Kauai County Council in 2010 and was re-elected in 2012. In that election, she garnered the most votes.
Now, Nakamura faces Republican candidate Sandi Combs in the upcoming November general election.
“We’ll be doing the same things and continuing to reach out to the community in our campaign,” Nakamura said. “We’ll continue our grassroots-level effort.”