Kobayashi a clear winner in Council special election


POSTED: Saturday, August 08, 2009

A year after giving up her seat on the City Council to pursue higher office, Ann Kobayashi is headed back to Honolulu Hale.

Kobayashi emerged the winner yesterday in a special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Duke Bainum in June.

She garnered 7,658 votes, or 38 percent of ballots cast, in the mail-in election held over the past six weeks. Matt Matsunaga, former state senator, finished second with 6,284 votes, followed by political newcomer Nathaniel Kinney, 3,822 votes.

Kobayashi returns to the Council after a spirited but unsuccessful campaign against incumbent Mayor Mufi Hannemann—a race that hinged largely on the issue of rail transit.

Although she had opposed the rail project, it was approved by voters in November, and Kobayashi said she will work to make sure the dollars are spent wisely.

“;We're looking forward to finishing a lot of projects we started working on ... especially the transparency of the transit funds—look at how the money has been spent and why.”;

A message left with a Hannemann spokesman seeking comment was not returned last night.

Council Chairman Todd Apo said he does not expect the dynamics of the Council to change with Kobayashi returning to her old seat.

;[Preview]  District Five election results

The results are in for the special city council election to represent Manoa and Makiki.

Watch ]


“;I feel like I had a good relationship with Ann while she was on the Council, and while she wasn't on the Council, I've continued to talk to her on some issues,”; Apo said.

“;The important thing for the city and county overall is that we have someone who can hit the ground running on issues,”; he added. “;The experience is going to be helpful.”;

He said a reorganization of committee assignments is expected by the end of the month, after Kobayashi is sworn in Aug. 28 and before committee meetings scheduled for early September.

Kobayashi beat out 13 other challengers for the City Council vacancy.

The mail-in election generated a turnout of 41 percent, with 20,444 returned ballots from the 49,851 that were mailed. Ballots also were accepted by walk-in vote at City Hall.

In April a mail-in special election to fill a vacancy in District 3, representing Windward Oahu, resulted in a 45 percent turnout.

Kobayashi will serve out the remainder of Bainum's term, which ends in 2012. She will be eligible to run for two more terms after that.

District 5 runs from Manoa Valley to the Ala Wai Canal and includes Manoa, Palolo, Moiliili and Kapahulu.

City Council District 5 election results

» Ann Kobayashi: 7,658 votes

» Matt Matsunaga: 6,284 votes

» Nathaniel Kinney: 3,822 votes

» Heidi L. Bornhorst: 858 votes

» George “;G.W.”; Waialeale: 502 votes

» Wendell S.L. Ching: 338 votes

» Phillip D. “;Rocky”; Rockwell: 235 votes

» James O. Quimby: 193 votes

» Michael Cain: 179 votes

» Philmund “;Phil”; Lee: 91 votes

» Gladys Gerlich Hayes: 73 votes

» Keolu Jacob Peralto: 72 votes

» Earl Winfree: 54 votes

» Butch Sims: 32 votes


20,444 ballots returned of 49,851 mailed (41 percent)