2 Republicans lead Apana for Maui mayor
WAILUKU » Two Republicans led the Maui County mayoral race in early voting in a nonpartisan race, with former Democratic Mayor James "Kimo" Apana running a close third.
Mayor Alan Arakawa and GOP Councilwoman Charmaine Tavares were leading a field of nine candidates.
The two top vote-getters will advance to the general election.
Tavares is making her first run for mayor.
"It's going better than I thought it would," Tavares said. "I'm surprised, pleasantly surprised. But we'll see what happens in the last printout."
Tavares, 62, a former parks director, is the oldest daughter of the late Hannibal Tavares, who served two terms as Maui County mayor.
Tavares, who has served three terms as the Council planning chairwoman, drew more votes than Arakawa in a contested election in 2002.
The 2004-06 term was her fifth and final term as a Council member under county Charter rules that bar more than five consecutive terms.
Tavares has been praised by some as instrumental in the formation of the county summer program that assists people seeking child care and recreation for their children during months they are out of school.
Arakawa, 55, seeking his second term as mayor, formed a coalition with some environmentalists going into the election that defeated incumbent Apana in 2002.
Apana, 44, defeated Arakawa in 1998.
Apana led in early voting against Arakawa in the 2002 race up until the last vote count, which included some outlying areas.
Mike Victorino, the father of Philadelphia Phillies baseball player Shane Victorino, had a substantial lead in his bid to advance to the general election for the Maui Council seat representing Wailuku and nearby eastern areas.