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Submitted votes lag as Council special election nears end


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POSTED: Friday, August 07, 2009

As voting comes to an end in the special election to fill the vacancy for City Council District 5, participation is running slightly below that of a similar mail-in vote held in April, an official said.

The deadline for District 5 voters to get ballots back to the City Clerk's Office is 6 p.m. today. A tally with roughly 98 percent of the votes counted is expected soon after that, said City Clerk Bernice Mau.

As of yesterday about 18,300—or 39 percent—of the roughly 47,000 ballots had been returned, Mau said.

In April about 45 percent of the voters in District 3 cast ballots in a special election to replace Barbara Marshall, who died in February of colon cancer. Councilman J. Ikaika Anderson, Marshall's longtime aide, emerged the winner in that contest.

The winner of the District 5 race would succeed Duke Bainum, who died June 9 of an aneurysm. District 5 runs from Manoa Valley to the Ala Wai Canal and includes Manoa, Palolo, Moiliili and Kapahulu.

Three candidates have emerged as front-runners, gaining endorsements from local unions and community groups.

Ann Kobayashi, who held the seat for six years before giving it up to run for mayor last year, has been endorsed by the Hawaii Women's Political Caucus, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 5, the Sierra Club and the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.

First-time candidate Nathaniel Kinney has spent the most in the race, $105,910, and has won backing from several local unions, including the state's largest, the Hawaii Government Employees Association, and the Hawaii Carpenters Union, where he works as an attorney.

Other endorsements include the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council, the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, the Operating Engineers and the United Food and Commercial Workers.

Matt Matsunaga, a former state senator, has been endorsed by the Hawaii Laborers Union.

THE CANDIDATES

There are 14 candidates in the special election to fill the seat for City Council District 5:

» Heidi L. Bornhorst
» Michael Cain
» Wendell S.L. Ching
» Gladys Gerlich Hayes
» Nathaniel Kinney
» Ann Kobayashi
» Philmund “;Phil”; Lee
» Matt Matsunaga
» James Quimby
» Keolu Jacob Peralto
» Phillip “;Rocky”; Rockwell
» Butch Sims
» George “;G.W.”; Waialeale
» Earl Winfree

Profiles of the candidates can be found online at hsblinks.com/l4.