Short election campaign period gives well-known names an edge


POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009

The 14 candidates vying to replace Duke Bainum on the City Council have just six weeks to get their message out to voters.





        The 14 candidates who have filed to run in the special election to succeed Duke Bainum on the City Council:

» Heidi L. Bornhorst


» Michael Cain


» Wendell S.L. Ching


» Gladys Gerlich Hayes


» Nathaniel Kinney


» Ann H. Kobayashi


» Philmund “;Phil”; Lee


» Matt Matsunaga


» James Quimby


» Keolu Jacob Peralto


» Phillip “;Rocky”; Rockwell


» Butch Sims


» George “;G.W.”; Waialeale


» Earl Winfree


The special election to fill the vacancy is being conducted by mail and absentee walk-in voting. Ballots are set to be mailed to about 49,000 registered voters in the district in early July, with a deadline of Aug. 7 for the votes to be counted.

With such a short campaign, University of Hawaii political scientist Neal Milner gives the advantage to Ann Kobayashi, who had represented the district for seven years before taking a chance at unseating Mayor Mufi Hannemann last year.

But Kobayashi could face a challenge from two others with name recognition: Matt Matsunaga, a former state senator and son of former U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga, and Heidi Bornhorst, daughter of former Councilwoman Marilyn Bornhorst.

“;The rest of them are more or less active in their neighborhood and communities, but clearly aren't very well known,”; Milner said.

Matsunaga entered the race yesterday.

“;My No. 1 priority is to really make sure that our city is safe, clean and green,”; he said. “;I believe that this district needs a sustainable vision, and I intend to bring that vision to Honolulu.”;

Matsunaga served in the state Senate from 1992-2002. He was the Democrats' pick for lieutenant governor in 2002 when Mazie Hirono lost to Gov. Linda Lingle and he has had two unsuccessful runs at Congress since then.

District 5 runs from Manoa Valley to the Ala Wai Canal and includes Manoa, Palolo, Moiliili and Kapahulu. Bainum died June 9 of an aneurysm. A memorial service is scheduled today at Hosoi Garden Mortuary.