board of education
MIKE BURLEY / MBURLEY@STARBULLETIN.COM
Yun Sook Tominaga of Salt Lake cast her ballot yesterday afternoon as members of the Salt Lake community voted in primary elections at the Salt Lake District Park meeting room.
Incumbents easily snare spots in general election
Denise Matsumoto tallies the most votes for a Honolulu seat
Hawaii Board of Education incumbents easily advanced to the general election yesterday after fending off challenges from a dozen candidates in the primary.
Denise Matsumoto, first elected to the board two decades ago, got the most votes for a Honolulu seat, well ahead of runner-up Carol Mon Lee, former assistant dean of the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law.
They move on to the Nov. 4 general contest, leaving behind third-place finisher Malcolm Kirkpatrick, a former public school teacher.
Lee says that if she is elected, her priority would be to ensure all students have access to the best education, regardless of where their school is located.
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
At the polling station in the Kipapa Elementary School cafeteria in Mililani, Evon Futch signed the poll book yesterday prior to voting. With her were her daughters, Danielle and Daniecea.
"Right now I think there are some schools and some students who are getting a quality education, but I don't think that it is across the board," she said. "I'm hoping that the voters will agree that it is time for change."
In a four-way battle for the Big Island seat, incumbent Herbert Watanabe and J. William Sanborn, a property manager, headed for a general election matchup as they beat contenders Paul Bryant and Patrick Walsh.
And in the race for three Oahu at-large slots, two incumbents - Lei Ahu Isa and Garrett Toguchi - along with former state legislator Terrance Tom led the pack of nine candidates.
They will be joined in the general election by Randall Yee, a past school board chairman who served from 2002 to 2006, Darrow Aiona, a retired professor, and Janis Akuna, a vice president at Morgan Stanley.
Educators Robert Peters and Pauline Namuo, and Marcia Linville, a retired Education Department employee, ended their campaigns.
At least one of the three at-large Oahu seats will be filled by a newcomer because former U.S. Rep. Cec Heftel, an incumbent, did not seek re-election.
Of the two other incumbents up for re-election this year, Leeward member Breene Harimoto will have a free ride to another four-year term because he is unopposed, and Maggie Cox of Kauai will face her only opponent, carpenter Lawrence Fillhart, in the general election.
The 14-member school board, which includes one student representative, oversees the state Department of Education and sets policy for Hawaii's 283 public schools.