Sunday, September 8, 2002

Election 2002


[ MAUI ]

Mayor’s race likely a rematch

In the race for the Maui Council's
Molokai seat, political observers give
the edge to incumbent Dennis Mateo

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> The race for the mayor of Maui appears to be headed toward a rematch between Alan Arakawa and James "Kimo" Apana, who won the 1998 election.

While four candidates are running for mayor, Apana and Arakawa are the only two who are proven vote-getters.

Election 2002
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Two of the top vote-getters in the nonpartisan primary for mayor will advance to the general election.

Apana, who defeated Arakawa 22,350 to 20,101 in the 1998 general election, has been able to consolidate a key Democratic faction under him in the last four years to improve his chances for re-election.

His once-Democratic challenger Alice Lee, a former County Council chairwoman who lost to him by 90 votes in the 1998 primary, works for the Apana administration as director of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns and is supporting his re-election.

Arakawa acknowledges Apana has a formidable campaign in swing, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for his re-election.

But Arakawa believes voters are willing to make a change in view of the mayor's record during the past four years.

Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana, wearing glasses, talked on Aug. 30 with campaign volunteer Regan Aila, who was helping to produce signs at Apana's headquarters in Kahului.

The other mayoral candidates are environmentalist and small-business man Robert Parsons and Haiku resident William Riddick, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the Council's Makawao seat against Lee in 1996.

Four people are vying for Arakawa's Kahului seat on the Council. Diana Melehaulani Carroll, who has served as state Sen. J. Kalani English's chief of staff, appears to have the organizational edge over the other three candidates -- former ILWU business agent Nicanor Casumpang Jr.; law clerk and small-business owner Herman Andaya; and Kahului resident Joseph Pontanilla. English is actively helping Carroll's campaign.

Political observers are giving the edge to Dennis "Danny" Mateo in the race for the Council's Molokai seat. Mateo was selected by the Council to serve out the five-month term of the late Council Chairman Patrick Kawano and has been endorsed by Kawano's family.

Other candidates include former Molokai Community Services Council youth opportunity coordinator Stephanie Crivello, state unemployment supervisor and former chair of Molokai Main Street Beverly Pauole-Moore, retired businessman Oliver Vanderbilt, George Kahinu, and cattle rancher Maria Hustace.

Challenger Alan Arakawa gathered with supporters Aug. 31 in his campaign office.

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