Candidate fails in bid to join race for House
Amid last-minute scrambling, failure to get enough signatures derails Chrystn Eads
The state's chief election officer has thrown out the last-minute candidacy of the Democratic candidate who sought to fill the state House seat of Rep. Kirk Caldwell.
Brian Schatz, state Democratic Party chairman, said last night that Chief Election Officer Kevin Cronin informed him that Chrystn Eads did not get the required signatures before the 4:30 p.m. Tuesday deadline.
"They said it was incomplete because it did not contain the signatures of the proper number of registered voters," Schatz told the Star-Bulletin last night.
According to state law, the Democratic Party has until 4:30 this afternoon to pick a replacement, Schatz said.
Cronin and City Clerk Denise De Costa did not return phone calls placed by the Star-Bulletin to their offices.
On Tuesday, Eads, an executive assistant to Mayor Mufi Hannemann, rushed down to the State Office Tower to sign up to run for the 24th House District seat vacated by Caldwell, who decided at the last moment to run for the City Council. Caldwell is seeking the seat of Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, who also waited till the last day to file to run for mayor against Hannemann.
In the confusion, Eads did not have the 15 signatures of registered voters in the Manoa district that are needed to properly file for office. The state office door, which had been closed at the 4:30 p.m. filing deadline, was opened, and Eads was allowed to go into the hallway to collect more signatures.
Republicans had questioned the maneuver.
Also yesterday, state Rep. Kirk Caldwell asked one of his own supporters, Lex Smith, to file a challenge with the City Clerk's Office to clear up questions regarding his own candidacy for the Council office.
"I think the public deserves it and the candidate deserves it -- to find out whether I do have the signatures and the appropriate withdrawal" from his House race, Caldwell said.
His would-be opponent in the race, former Councilman Duke Bainum, said yesterday his attorneys were studying the matter, and he plans to file his own challenge next week.
Kobayashi's surprise move on Tuesday set off the election chaos, with potential candidates scrambling to file to run for her seat representing the Manoa district.
Bainum, who lost the mayoral race to Hannemann four years ago, submitted his paperwork for the Council seat and the required signatures in time to meet the 4:30 p.m. deadline.
At 4:29 p.m., Caldwell submitted his petition with 18 signatures. Twenty minutes later, City Clerk De Costa informed him that only 14 signatures were valid but 15 are needed to file. A Manoa resident working in the City Clerk's Office signed the petition to ensure Caldwell had enough signatures.
There also was a question as to whether he properly notified the state Office of Elections of his intent to withdraw from his House race.
Caldwell said he believes his nomination papers are valid.
By law the Clerk's Office must make a decision within five business days from when the challenge is filed.
Last night's action came after a longtime Republican resident of Manoa, Helene Webster, challenged Eads' candidacy. Republicans contend she missed the deadline.
Eads said confusion at the Elections Office prevented her from getting filing papers until 4:25 p.m. Schatz intervened and persuaded officials to allow her to collect signatures and file because of the confusion.
Republican Jerilyn Jeffryes, a retired medical administrator, is the only other candidate who has filed for Caldwell's seat.