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BIG ISLAND MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Kim prevails in race
Kim recently obtained a County Council vote backing a slowing of development in Kona until highway development can catch up. His main challenger, Dominic Yagong, wants to slow the growth of county government, a criticism of increases in property taxes during Kim's term in office.
On the County Council, being an incumbent or having name recognition helped some candidates, but there were also surprises.
In District 2 (downtown Hilo, Kaumana), challenger Donald Ikeda took an early lead over incumbent Michael Tulang.
In District 9 (North and South Kohala), retired Army colonel and community newsletter editor Pete Hoffmann took an early lead over incumbent Leningrad Elarionoff. Hoffmann advocates greater emphasis on public infrastructure catching up with private development.
Elarionoff has been aligned with the Council's pro-growth faction, headed by chairman Jimmy Arakaki.
Incumbents expected to do well were Fred Holschuh (District 1, North Hilo, Hamakua), Arakaki (District 3, Waiakea area of Hilo, Keaau), Gary Safarik (District 5, lower Puna), and Bob Jacobson (District 6, upper Puna, Kau, South Kona).
Arakaki faces a court challenge from his opponent Ollie "Ole" Fulks, who says a term limit law prohibits Arakaki from running. But with the issue undecided, Arakaki easily outdistanced Fulks in early returns.
Two other candidates running for vacant seats were expected to benefit from name recognition.
Virginia Isbell, seeking the District 7 seat (middle Kona), although out of office since 1996, served in the Legislature for many years before that.
Angel Pilago, seeking the District 8 seat (Kailua-Kona area), is known for a long and successful battle to limit growth at the Kohanaiki shoreline area. He has the support of both environmental and labor groups.
But name recognition appeared not to help Wendell Ka'ehu'ae'a, who is seeking the vacant District 4 seat (Keaukaha, Panaewa) and has run unsuccessfully for various offices for three decades. Stacy Higa, a political newcomer, took an early lead over Ka'ehu'ae'a and the third candidate, Edgar Ombac.
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