Possible successors look to Aug. 7


POSTED: Thursday, June 11, 2009

The city will hold a special election Aug. 7 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Councilman Duke Bainum.

; The City Council yesterday set a filing deadline of June 25 for the special election, which will be by mail-in ballot.

Two of the more widely known possible candidates are Kirk Caldwell, city managing director, and Ann Kobayashi, the former councilwoman from the district.

Kobayashi ran for mayor last year instead of running for re-election to her district and lost to Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

A former Democratic state senator, Kobayashi first ran for the Council in 2002 in a special election to fill out the term of Councilman Andy Mirikitani, who was convicted of giving staff aides bonuses in exchange for kickbacks.

Kobayashi easily won the 2002 election with 40 percent of the vote among 14 candidates, but the turnout was a minuscule 28 percent.

;[Preview]  Bainum's Sudden Death Changes Hawaii Political Scene

A look back on Duke Bainum's political career and how he tried his best to serve Hawaii's people.

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Bainum's district runs from Manoa Valley to the Ala Wai Canal and extends from Manoa to Palolo, Moiliili and Kapahulu.

Caldwell, a former state House Democratic leader, had tried to run for the Council seat last year but failed to file his nomination papers on time and was disqualified. Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann then named him city managing director. Caldwell had been thinking about running for mayor if Hannemann left office.

Now Hannemann has set up an exploratory committee for an gubernatorial campaign and would have to leave office next year if he runs for governor.

Caldwell and Kobayashi also were considering the mayor's race if Hannemann left.

Both said yesterday it was too soon after Bainum's death to start speculation about their political futures.

In April Ikaika Anderson won a special election to fill the Windward Council seat left vacant when Councilwoman Barbara Marshall died.

In that race, with 11 candidates, the vote turnout was higher, with 45 percent of the registered voters mailing in a ballot or using the two walk-in vote centers. Anderson won with nearly half of the vote but was outspent by other candidates, including former Councilman John Henry Felix, who spent $187,459 to Anderson's $36,260.