THE COUNTIES - HAWAII
Puna candidates add spice to race for Hawaii Council
The hotly contested district reflects the Big Island area's colorful personalities
The Big Island's Puna District, noted for its independent personalities, features the most contested of the nonpartisan races for Hawaii County Council.
District 5 incumbent Gary Safarik is challenged by perennial candidate Roger Evans, substance abuse worker Emily Naeole, health food store owner Russell Ruderman and modeling agency owner Kaniu Stocksdale.
Noted for her exuberant personality, Naeole's Web site features a "Wanted" poster of herself. Safarik's site shows him with the mayor of Manila. Ruderman notes his ability on the guitar. Evans and Stocksdale did not immediately establish a Web presence.
In middle Puna/Hilo, District 3, with no incumbent, Paula Helfrich and J Yoshimoto vie for a seat. In upper Puna/Kau/Kona, District 6, incumbent Bob Jacobson is challenged by Gerald Holleman.
The race gets hot again in middle Kona, District 7, where incumbent Virginia Isbell is challenged by David Basque, Brenda Ford and Lei Kihoi.
Just north of there, District 8, Councilman Angel Pilago is unchallenged, like Councilman Donald Ikeda in Hilo, District 2.
District 9, North and South Kohala, sees Pete Hoffmann facing former Councilman Leningrad Elarionoff and Christopher Thomason.
In Hamakua, District 1, Fred Holschuh faces former Councilman Dominic Yagong, while in Hilo, District 4, Council Chairman Stacy Higa faces Justin Avery and Wendell Kaehuaea.