KAPAA — It was a night of smiles and celebration for Nadine Nakamura even before the first printout was released on Tuesday night, and the celebrations continued once it was announced later that she was leading by a significant amount for the District 14 seat in the House of Representatives,
Nakamura comfortably won the representative seat Tuesday night over Republican challenger Sandi Combs.
“I’m very excited with the results,” Nakamura said. “It’s been a long campaign season and, as you can see, I have a lot of supporters, a lot of people who got involved in my campaign and worked really hard the past five or six months to get where we are today.”
With all five precincts reporting, Nakamura received 6,057 votes, or 65.5 percent, a landslide victory for the Kapaa native who also won comfortably during the primary election earlier this year over Fern Rosenstiel. She won based on a campaign that was passionate about public concerns such as traffic, legislative issues and affordable housing.
Nakamura celebrated with family, friends and her supporters at Brick Oven Pizza in Kapaa as she met and greeted each person in attendance, most of whom were wearing green T-shirts with Nakamura’s name on it.
Nakamura was grateful for everyone who helped.
“There’s so many people who organized coffee hours, helped me sign-wave, we re-did our signs, we had to move very quickly to move to get to where we are and I just want to thank them all for their support. I’m just really thrilled.”
Combs received 24.9 percent, or 2,301 votes, and was grateful for the support she received during her campaign and thanks those in attendance at the 9th Avenue Sports Bar and Grill in Kapaa.
“I’m disappointed, but the reality is that it was a real long shot to try, but I’m glad I did,” Combs said after the first printout. “I really believe that I got into the conversation this campaign. It was something that I wanted to do all my life. It was on my bucket list and I got to mark it off. I got to meet some extraordinary people. I really worked as hard as I could and I really think that I ran an ethical and honest and kind campaign, and I’m really proud of that.”
Nakamura is the former managing director for the County of Kauai. She was on the Kauai County Council in 2010 and was re-elected in 2012. She had served as a planner for the Department of Transportation for the City and County of Honolulu and project coordinator for the Pacific Housing Assistance Cooperation.