LIHUE — District 16 Incumbent Daynette “Dee” Morikawa will return to the state House after defeating Republican candidate Victoria Franks Tuesday.
This is Morikawa’s fourth term representing the areas of Niihau, Lehua, Koloa and Waimea. With all six precincts reporting, Morikawa garnered 68.7 percent of the votes (6,088), while Franks received 21.8 percent of the votes (1,934).
“It pleases me to know that the people in District 16 appreciates what I do for them,” Morikawa said. “Now the work continues.”
Because of the the presidential election, Morikawa said she suspected more Republicans would be coming out to vote.
“This is the most contentious election period that I’ve known because of the presidential candidates,” she said. “It’s proven through the numbers. I feel so relieved, minus the worries about the presidential race. It pleases me to know that the people in District 16 appreciate what I do for them.”
Franks told The Garden Island she will continue working for the community.
“Whether I do it as a state representative or if I do it through the nonprofits, I’m still going to serve the people,” Franks said. “I’m still going to put people ahead of anything else.”
Franks said Morikawa seems like a nice person.
“I don’t really know that much about her. I think she does the best that she can. I try to look for the positive side of people,” she said. “I had a lot of people that came and approached me and gave me a lot of information that I could have used against her in a campaign, but I don’t operate like that.”
Morikawa gives Franks credit for giving people a choice.
“Because I have someone running against me, it was hard for me to do the work I need to do as legislator,” Morikawa said. “At least I know with confidence the voters favor me. I just want to thank her for putting her name out there.”
Franks said she’s thankful for the support she’s received.
“For me, I know there are people that are against me because I’m against her,” she said. “My supporters and my people … always try to be encouraging.”
Moving forward, Morikawa said the people ought to expect more improvements on roads, in schools and in infrastructure.
“Constituents have seen a lot of repairs on the main highway up in Kokee,” she said. “Those are the things that are going to continue. We’re going to make sure that things happen on the Westside.”