21 in the running for 2021 council seat

  • Contributed photos

    The candidates for the Kaua‘i County Council include, at top from left, the Rev. Jade Wai‘ale‘ale Battad, Dr. Addison Bulosan, Bernard Carvalho Jr., Mason Chock, Felicia Cowden and Mike Dandurand. Middle from left are Billy DeCosta, Luke Evslin, Victoria Franks, Richard Fukushima, Ed Justus and Arryl Kaneshiro. Bottom from left are KipuKai Kuali‘i, Jacquelyn “Jakki” Nelson, Wally Nishimura, Rory Parker, Shirley Simbre-Medeiros and Clint Yago Sr. Not shown are John Hoff, Naomi “Omi” Taniguchi and Debralynn Desilva Carveiro.

LIHU‘E — Twenty-two candidates have officially filed to run for Kaua‘i County Council seats by Tuesday’s filing deadline, alongside the incumbent county prosecuting attorney, candidates for the state House and Senate and some Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates.

All seven councilmember seats are up for grabs, with eligible incumbents Mason Chock, Felicia Cowden, Luke Evslin, Arryl Kaneshiro, KipuKai Kualiʻi running for reelection.

Current council Vice Chair Ross Kagawa has reached his term limits, and ex-officio member Arthur Brun is currently awaiting trial for his alleged role in leading a meth drug ring on the island.

To run for a two-year seat on the council, candidates must be qualified voters in the county for at least two years prior to the election, provide 15 signatures from registered voters in the county and pay a $250 filing fee.

Contests for council and prosecuting attorney are determined via non-partisan elections.

Current Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar will be automatically reelected if he receives one vote.

The primary is Saturday, Aug. 8. Only the top 14 vote-getters of the 22 council candidates will move on to the general election in November.

The council candidates follow, in alphabetical order.

The Rev. Jade T. Wai‘ale‘ale Battad of Ke Akua Mana Church in Lihu‘e is running for the first time.

Local chiropractor Addison Bulosan owns The Specific Chiropractic Centers – Kaua‘i.

Donovan Kanani Cabebe of Koloa is a community organizer and activist protecting natural resources and emphasizing Native rights.

Former Mayor Bernard Carvalho is seeking a council bid. Carvalho won a mayoral election in 2008, replacing former Mayor Bryan Baptiste, who died in office. He was in office for a decade, until 2018, when he announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor. He finished in third in the Democratic primary of that race.

Incumbent Mason Chock has held a seat on the council since 2014. He is running for his fourth term.

Felicia Cowden joined the council in 2018, and has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association and Pono Hawai‘i Initiative, according to her website.

Mike Dandurand is the owner of Kustom Sounds Kaua‘i, a mobile DJ company. Dandurand lives in Wailua Homesteads.

This is Koloa resident Billy De Costa’s fourth county council run. De Costa came in 10th place in the 2018 election.

Debralynn Desilva Carveiro of ‘Ele‘ele previously ran for mayor in 2014.

Lihu‘e resident Luke Evslin is in his first term on the council, and is running for his second. He is the co-founder and managing partner of Kamanu Composites, a Hawai‘i-based, outrigger-canoe manufacturing company.

‘Ele‘ele resident Victoria Franks is the music minister at King’s Chapel. Franks unsuccessfully ran for the state House of Representatives, District 16, in 2016, and for council in 2018.

Richard Fukushima, who ran in both 2016 and 2018, lives in Kapa‘a.

Ed Justus is the owner of Hanapepe’s Talk Story Bookstore. Justus previously served on the county’s Charter Review Commission.

Current Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro is seeking his fourth term as a councilmember. Kaneshiro, who lives in Lihu‘e, is a project manager at Grove Farm.

Incumbent KipuKai Kuali‘i of Anahola has served on and off the council since 2011, winning back a seat in 2018.

This is Jacquelyn “Jakki” Nelson’s first run for a council seat. She lives in Kapa‘a.

Anahola resident Wally Nishimura launched his second campaign for council, having run back in 2018. Nishimura holds a regional position at Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation.

Writer and self-proclaimed housewife Rory Parker of Kapa‘a is running for the first time.

Kekaha resident Shirley Simbre-Medeiros ran for council in 2018.

Naomi “Omi” Taniguchi of Kalaheo filed nomination papers on May 14.

Clint Yago Sr. of Lihu‘e has run for council and mayor in the past, focusing on traffic, homelessness and police issues in the past.

The candidates for OHA Kaua‘i resident trustee seat are incumbent Dan Ahuna of Kapa‘a, Brittny Perez of Waimea and Kamealoha Smith of Kealia.

Candidates for state representatives are listed by district. District 14 (Wailua to Ha‘ena): Steve Monas of Kapa‘a and incumbent Nadine K. Nakamura of Kapa‘a; District 15 (Lihu‘e to Koloa): incumbent James Kunane Tokioka of Lihu‘e and Steve Yoder of Wailua; District 16 (Koloa to Barking Sands, Ni‘ihau): Ana Mo Des of Koloa and incumbent Daynette “Dee” Morikawa of Waimea.

State Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi, a Lihu‘e resident who represents Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, has filed to run for reelection and is unopposed.

Cabebe, Desilva Carviero and Taniguchi did not respond to The Garden Island’s requests for pictures by the deadline for this story.

This story was updated on June 9 at 9:45 a.m. to correct Jade Wai‘ale‘ale Battad’s name and remove John Hoff from the excluded candidates list. Hoff has not filed papers for a council seat.


Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Nate June 3, 2020 2:14 pm Reply

    How to get my vote: run with a goal of reorganizing the council into 3-5 districted seats (3 existing voting districts or 5 more thoughtful divisions that don’t lump hanalei with kapaa for instance) plus the rest as at-large seats. 2020 census data is a great opportunity to do this.

    You should have a specific representative fighting for your localized interests that you know how to contact. At large seats provide opportunities for up and comers to avoid fighting popular incumbents or to fight for important county-wide interests.

    Think about this, why is my state rep more localized than the seven kauai county council members that all supposedly represent me? Which of the seven do I call about adding a sidewalk somewhere other than Rice Street? I shouldn’t have to call all seven. Raise the bar for our council representation.

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