Sunday, September 8, 2002

Election 2002



Little shakeup seen
in county races

Nonpartisan elections make their
debut in Hawaii County

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> With four of the nine Hawaii County Council members unopposed and no mayoral race on the Big Island, no electoral earthquake will shake county government this year.

Observers wanting to stifle a yawn will draw some interest from tidbits in the few truly contested races.

Hawaii County is the last in the state to switch to nonpartisan races for the Council, going into effect for the first time in this election.

Election 2002
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Yet the issue of party will remain interesting in the 6th Council District (Upper Puna-Kau-South Kona).

Julie Jacobson, the only elected Green Party member in the state, is not running for re-election. Her husband, Bob, is seeking to replace her.

Can Bob Jacobson, a nurse, continue the district's nonconformist, Green voting pattern?

Or will coffee grower Brenda Domondon find enough support from fellow coffee farmers to take the lead?

Also in the race are William "Manong" Jennings and Rusty Kemp.

Green, the green of money, will not play a big role in another race, where physician Fred Holschuh is vying with former Councilman Takashi Domingo in the vacant 1st District (Hamakua-Hilo Coast). Also running is Hawaiian cultural practitioner Reynolds Kamakawiwoole.

Holschuh spent just short of $300,000 in an unsuccessful Democratic bid for mayor in 2000, a sum he called "preposterous."

His wife, Diane, says Holschuh will not spend huge sums of money on the present campaign but hopes to build on name recognition from 2000.

Domingo, who has never lost an election, is expected to be a strong rival.

Another candidate seeking to return to the Council is Joseph Reynolds in the 7th District (Central Kona). Reynolds lost to incumbent Nancy Pisicchio in 1998, but Pisicchio is not seeking re-election.

Reynolds faces unsuccessful former candidate Joseph Rosner and political newcomer Jeff Turner.

In the 9th District (Waimea-Kohala), incumbent Leningrad Elarionoff faces two challengers. In the 5th District (Lower Puna), incumbent Gary Safarik faces four.

Unopposed are Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, Jimmy Arakaki and Aaron Chung in Districts 2, 3 and 4 (all Hilo), and Curtis Tyler in District 8 (North Kona).

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