Voters to tap Marshall replacement


POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The recent death of City Councilwoman Barbara Marshall will require a special election within the next two months as some potential candidates consider filling her seat.

The City Council will decide tomorrow the date of the special election, though the City Charter states it must be within 60 days.

Council Chairman Todd Apo said he would like to have Marshall's replacement elected in a timely manner but also wants to give enough time for candidates to step up.

“;We have to balance getting the position filled as soon as possible so there's some representation in the district, but obviously providing enough time for potential candidates,”; Apo said.

Marshall, who died Sunday morning in California from colon cancer, represented Windward Oahu for the past six years. Since her diagnosis in the summer last year, she halted some of her Council duties while receiving treatment.

Apo said he did not have any conversations with Marshall and possible successors because “;her plan was to be back.”;

Some political insiders have said possible replacements considering a run include Mayor Mufi Hannemann ally and former City Councilman John Henry Felix and Marshall's aide, Ikaika Anderson.

Anderson said he is considering running in the special election, but declined to talk about it at length out of respect for Marshall.

“;I had been approached by community leaders who urged me to run and offered their support,”; said Anderson, 31, who ran unsuccessfully for state representative last year. “;At this time, I'm considering it. I would hate to see that seat won by an individual who would not continue what Barbara had started.”;

Felix did not return a message left yesterday.

Leigh Prentiss of Kailua, who ran against Marshall last year, also plans to compete for the seat.

“;Barbara was tough to the end,”; said Prentiss, 62, who has had no prior political experience. “;It's big shoes to fill, but I feel that I am absolutely up to the task.”;

Marshall overwhelmingly won re-election last year by capturing 84 percent of the vote despite her diagnosis. In the primary election, Prentiss took just 11 percent of the vote with 2,467 votes.