HILO -- Big Island mayoral candidate Bob Herkes told fellow Democrats he'll provide services, and his primary election opponent Fred Holschuh told Democrats he'll restore trust in government, but a third Democrat without a chance of winning stole the show last night.
Big Isle mayoral
candidates make last-
ONLINE ELECTION COVERAGE
By Rod Thompson
Candidate Gery Navarro, a chiropractor's aide with no political experience, got a laugh from the crowd when he said, "I might get 50 votes, but it's OK."
The scene was the downtown Hilo Mooheau Park bandstand, the site of Democratic pre-election rallies for five decades.
Navarro thanked "Uncle Bob" and "Uncle Fred" for allowing him to run, then asked them to make a commitment.
"I'd like to ask them to make sure they take care of the people, and not those who did favors for them, not the guys who went give you guys money," he said.
He sang a campaign song to the tune of Elvis Presley's "Teddy Bear."
"Oh let me be your county mayor," he crooned.
The Mooheau tradition began in territorial days when Democrats couldn't find an indoor gathering place in Republican-controlled Hilo. It was the site of big rallies in years past, but the mere handful of contested primary races this year produced only a modest turnout last night.
The most-watched is the partisan race for mayor, wide open with two-term incumbent Stephen Yamashiro barred by the County Charter from running.
Herkes emphasized his third-generation roots on the island and his experience in the Legislature. "I'm a candidate that doesn't need on-the-job training," he said.
Holschuh, an emergency room physician, talked about using government to prevent problems from arising. "I prefer to put money into the play pen, not the state pen," he said.
The island also has a rare contested prosecutor's race. "I represent change, someone who is unafraid to tell the truth," said challenger Brenda Carreira.
Incumbent Jay Kimura told of his vision of a community in which a child can grow up free of drugs and violence.
And U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink reminded the crowd that Democrats have to be active at the national level, as well.
Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush is for investing Social Security funds in the stock market, a move that could wipe them out, she warned.
She urged a vote for Democrat Al Gore with the words, "Social Security is here to stay, and nobody better touch it."