Recognition could be key for 11 seeking Council seat


POSTED: Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eleven candidates, including two former City Council members, have filed to run in the mail-in special election to fill the Windward Council seat vacancy created by the death of Barbara Marshall on Feb. 22.

The list of potential successors also includes one of Marshall's longtime aides, J. Ikaika Anderson, who has been endorsed by her widower, Cliff Ziems.

“;I know that Barbara would want Ikaika to succeed her,”; Ziems said yesterday at a news conference outside City Hall. “;He knows all the issues she was working on and would want him to continue working on.”;

Yesterday was the filing deadline for candidates.

Former Council members John Henry Felix and Steve Holmes also are vying for the seat and have a built-in advantage, having served on the Council before, said one analyst.

With only about a month and a half to campaign, “;name recognition means a lot,”; said Neal Milner, a University of Hawaii political scientist. “;There isn't too much time to campaign, and you don't have a lot of different ways to do it. Recognizable names will be important.”;

Money would play a lesser role than in most elections, Milner said, mostly because there would be little time to raise and spend the money effectively.

Ballots are being mailed to the roughly 55,000 voters in the Windward district, and the deadline to receive ballots is April 23. Absentee walk-in voting at City Hall is set for April 6 to 21.

“;It's hard to see how you could spend it that quickly in an efficient sort of way,”; Milner said.

Holmes already has launched radio and newspaper ads, including a full-page ad in Sunday editions of the Star-Bulletin.

Felix said his campaign has been waiting to see who would be in the field before launching his ads, but they are ready to go.

“;I think it has to be focused because we've got a relatively short period of time,”; Felix said. “;We're prepared for that.”;

Anderson, who had worked for Marshall for the past six years, completed his candidacy paperwork hours ahead of yesterday's deadline.

He also is familiar to voters in the district. He campaigned for the Lanikai-Waimanalo state House seat last year, losing to Rep. Chris Lee.

“;I do have some huge shoes to fill, but I've been here for the past six years,”; Anderson said. “;I've had a wonderful teacher, I have a wonderful team behind me in the staff she hand-picked and I'm not going to do this job alone. They're going to be right there with me, and I think that's going to benefit the constituents.”;



Eleven candidates have filed to run in the special election to fill the District 3 City Council vacancy created by the death last month of Councilwoman Barbara Marshall. They are:

» Paul H. Akau

» Justin-Michael Ikaika Anderson

» Tracy R. Bean

» John Henry Felix

» Wilson Kekoa Ho

» Stephen A. Holmes

» Leona M. Kalima

» Keoki A. Leong

» Solomon D.K. Nalua'i

» Thomas M. Pico

» Ellen L.P. Ryan