Monday, August 15, 2016

Hawaii Election recap: Low turnout, incumbent advantage, political commentary and more top government and political news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz hears from Emily Naeole © 2016 All Hawaii News
Hawaii set a record low for voter apathy in a primary election on Saturday, when only 34.7 percent of registered voters bothered to cast ballots. In all, 251,959 people voted. Star-Advertiser.

The voter turnout for Hawaii’s primary election of 34.7 percent was the lowest since statehood in 1959, prompting U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz to suggest that a Saturday in August “might not be the best time to hold a primary.” Civil Beat.

From opponents to teammates, Hawaii's Democratic candidates gathered at the Dole Cannery Sunday for the party's traditional Unity breakfast, less than 24 hours after Saturday's primary election. Hawaii News Now.

A day after going up against each other, Democratic candidates in Hawaii are coming together for their next challenge: the General Election. Sunday morning displayed unity among many of Hawaii’s democrats who just got through the Primary Election. KITV.

Time to shake off the post-primary fog, savor the triumphs, lick the wounds and buckle down for the big one. At the Democratic Unity Breakfast Sunday, there was no mistaking the agenda for November. KHON2.

The Democrat who spoke most passionately at the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s Unity Breakfast Sunday was a candidate who is not actually running as a Democrat this year. Civil Beat.

Though they didn’t have any major contested races, the Hawaii Republican Party says it’s happy with the outcome of the primary election. KHON2.

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2016 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Legislature will remain controlled by Democrats after a primary election where many Democratic incumbents ran unopposed. There were 16 uncontested races in the elections for the state Senate and House, and all but one of the unopposed candidates were Democrats. Associated Press.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz won his Democratic primary race Saturday, defeating four challengers in his bid for his first full term in office. Associated Press.

Former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa won the Democratic primary in Hawaii on Saturday and could return to her old U.S. House seat. Associated Press.

The 2014 storm of political controversy — and weather — wasn’t there this time for Colleen Hanabusa and Brian Schatz in Saturday’s Democratic congressional primary, with both nailing lopsided victories in U.S. House and Senate races. Star-Advertiser.

Legislative incumbents find little resistance at polls. Star-Advertiser.

The Projector: Night Of Drama After Day Of Voter Apathy. Polling places were often empty Saturday, but when the returns started rolling in, the excitement picked up. Civil Beat.

Primary Election Results. Star-Advertiser.

Two OHA Seats Will Head To A Nov. 8 Runoff. Colette Machado has won her Molokai seat but the at-large seat and Hawaii Island seat will be on the general election ballot. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Roundup of insightful quotes helps discern bull of politics. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: If there are any lessons to be taken from Saturday’s primary election, they are small and incremental. Civil Beat.

Oahu
The final battle for Honolulu Hale will play out in a general election clash on Nov. 8 between Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former U.S. Rep. and City Councilman Charles Djou. Caldwell narrowly finished first in Saturday’s primary election, with 44.6 percent of the 166,002 votes cast. Djou threatened to pull the mayor into a dead heat but by the end of the night trailed with 43.7 percent of the votes and a close second-place finish. Star-Advertiser.

Just 1,500 votes -- and one major issue -- separated Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former Congressman Charles Djou in Saturday's mayoral primary won by Caldwell. But a precinct-by-precinct analysis suggests it's an even tighter race for the two, who will face off each other again in a runoff election in November. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Councilwoman Kymberly Pine won’t have to face a challenger in November — she won re-election outright in Saturday’s primary race with a commanding 65 percent of the vote. Star-Advertiser.

An unscientific peek into how Oahu’s electorate voted in the Honolulu mayor’s race shows Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou each faring well in some regions while in need of work in other communities as they head for their Nov. 8 showdown. Star-Advertiser.

copyright 2016 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2016 All Hawaii News

Hawaii

Harry Kim defied the oddsmakers and the fundraisers Saturday, trouncing Wally Lau and 11 other candidates in his path to reclaim the county’s top post. West Hawaii Today.

Mitch Roth won a second term as county prosecutor Saturday. With 42 of 43 precincts reporting islandwide, the 52-year-old Roth held an insurmountable lead over Deputy Attorney General Mike Kagami, 22,281 votes to 10,128, 68.7 percent to 31.3 percent. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Kai Kahele is all but guaranteed to finish the term his father started after defeating his two challengers in the Democratic primary Saturday. Tribune-Herald.

State Senator Russell Ruderman will keep his district 2 senate seat after holding off his Democratic challenger, Puna councilmember Greggor Ilagan, in the primary election. Big Island Video News.

Seven-term incumbent Cindy Evans won the Democratic primary for the District 7 seat in the House of Representatives by a narrow margin over opponent David Tarnas in one of the closest races across the entire state. West Hawaii Today.

The non-partisan race to fill the two vacated seats – district 4 (Puna) and district 3 (Hilo) – will go on to a run-off election in November, since no candidate in either race managed to get over half the vote. Incumbents also appear to have been defeated in two other tight council races – district 5 (Puna) and district 9 (Kohala) – where Danny Paleka and Margaret Wille fall short in their bids for re-election. Big Island Video News.

Jennifer Ruggles unseated Hawaii County Councilman Daniel Paleka in the District 5 race. With all precincts reporting, the 27-year-old Fern Acres resident won 1,794 votes, or 54 percent. Tribune-Herald.

Every vote counts, especially if it’s cast in the Hawaii County Council District 3 race. The race will continue as a runoff in November after Saturday’s election narrowed the field of three to two: Sue Lee Loy and Moana Kelii, both of Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Two West Hawaii County Council candidates are powering their campaigns with small donations, while East Hawaii incumbents are relying more on larger contributions. West Hawaii Today.


Maui

Election night 2016 was characterized by low turnout, little energy, no magic, and only a few surprises. The night’s most unexpected finish was in the race for the vacant Wailuku County Council seat where former council member Dane Kane, finished first with 6,443 votes, while first time candidate Alika Atay came in second with 6,354. Trailing the leaders was the presumed favorite Keith Regan, the county’s managing director, with 6,017, followed by Joe Blackburn 4,439 and Hana Steel 1,424. Kane and Atay, the top two vote getters in the county wide non-partisan race will face each other in the November. Maui Watch.

It was an emotional Saturday evening for Kaniela Ing as he embraced friends and family after a triumphant victory over challenger Deidre Tegarden for the Democratic nomination to the South Maui state House seat. Maui News.

In the race for the Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat, voters on Molokai and Lanai proved to be one of the deciding factors for winner Dain Kane, pushing him through to the general election Saturday night in the tightest County Council primary contest this year. Maui News.

In a tight race with no candidate taking a majority of the votes Saturday, former Maui County Council Member Dain Kane and "aloha aina" advocate Alika Atay prevailed in the primary contest for the Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat. Maui News.

Yuki Lei Sugimura held on to an early lead for the Maui County Council Upcountry residency seat, and Napua Greig-Nakasone secured the second spot Saturday night as they advanced from a four-candidate field to the Nov. 8 general race. Maui News.

All of the precincts in Maui County were accounted for in the Third and Fourth election printout from the State Office of Elections on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. The Fourth printout, produced at 11:47 p.m. was considered the Final Summary Report for Maui County races, where all precincts are accounted for. Maui Now.

A four-way race for the South Maui residency seat on the Maui County Council turned into a two-way contest Saturday night, with incumbent Council Member Don Couch and challenger Kelly King getting the most votes and advancing to the Nov. 8 general election. Maui News.

Upcountry Rep. Kyle Yamashita was able to fend off a challenge from political newcomer Tiare Lawrence Saturday night, taking a winner-take-all contest to return to 12th District House of Representatives seat he has held since 2004. Maui News.

Elections for federal and state legislative offices were primary elections with parties choosing their candidates for the Nov. 8 general election. Maui News.

Kauai

Hawaii State Sen. Ron Kouchi garnered more than half of the votes in the primary election. Garden Island.

District 15 incumbent James “Jimmy” Tokioka will return to the state House after winning the seat convincingly, beating his opponent and first-time political candidate Thomas Oi of Lihue. Garden Island.

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

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. Garden Island.

The race for the Kauai prosecutor’s office hit a milestone Saturday when the incumbent took a significant lead against his challenger. Garden Island.