11 candidates compete to fill Marshall's old seat


POSTED: Sunday, April 05, 2009

The special election to fill the City Council seat for Windward Oahu has no shortage of candidates to choose from, featuring a diverse mix of former council members, familiar faces and first-time candidates.

;[Preview]    Windward Candidates Call Out Resume Flaws

Candidate Steve Holmes and Ikaika Anderson are running for Barbara Marshall’s vacant Windward council seat and are accusing each other of resume inflation.



Voters in the district, which encompasses parts of Kaneohe, Kailua and Waimanalo, have until April 23 to make up their minds on which of the 11 candidates they feel would best replace Barbara Marshall.

In the mix is Marshall's longtime aide, J. Ikaika Anderson, who has been endorsed by the Hawaii Government Employees Association and the state AFL-CIO. He also has the backing of Cliff Ziems, Marshall's widower.

The race also has brought out two former candidates who served on the council in the 1990s: John Henry Felix and Steve Holmes.

Felix also has earned several union endorsements, including the Hawaii Carpenters Union, the Hawaii Firefighters Association and the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers. Holmes, a vocal opponent of the city's planned rail mass transit system, has won the backing of the Sierra Club's Hawaii Chapter.

Past political candidates seeking the office include Wilson Kekoa Ho, Leona Mapuana Kalima, Keoki Leong and Tom Pico Jr.

Rounding out the race are first-timers Paul Akau, Tracy Nakano Bean, Sol Nalua'i and Pohai Ryan.

Most of the candidates have been out walking the district and waving signs. Holmes was among the first to take out print ads, while Anderson and Felix have prepared television ads.

Ballots for the estimated 55,000 registered voters in the district were mailed out April 1. Anyone who voted in the November 2008 general election or who registered to vote by the March 24 deadline should be receiving a ballot.

The ballots must be received by the City Clerk's Office no later than 6 p.m. April 23.

Absentee walk-in voting at City Hall and Pali Golf Course begins tomorrow and runs through April 21. The sites are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays. Ballots also may be dropped off at these sites.

Marshall died Feb. 22 after a battle with colon cancer. Since her death, her staff has been maintaining the office and addressing constituent needs as they arise. She easily won re-election to her District 3 seat in November with 84 percent of the vote.

The dynamics of the council could change with her successor.

Marshall, who served two years as Council chairwoman before stepping down in November to undergo treatment, was a fiercely independent member of the council. Her vote sometimes stood as the tiebreaker on 5-4 tallies.