Puna-Kau district
heads for runoff

» Maui: Apana, Arakawa again
» Kauai: Kouchi, Baptiste in dead heat
» Waiting for results: mayor's races

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> There will be a runoff in the general election in at least one Hawaii County Council district based on the results of the third printout released late last night.

In the 6th District (upper Puna, Kau, South Kona), neither Bob Jacobson nor Brenda Domondon had the necessary 50 percent of the votes cast, plus one, needed to avoid a runoff in the general election.

It was unclear, based on the printout, whether there would be a runoff between incumbent Leningrad Elarionoff and challenger Eddie Akana in Waimea.

Jacobson is the husband of incumbent Julie Jacobson, who decided not to run again to have more time with her aging parents.

Domondon, a third-generation coffee farmer in Kau, is focused on economic development. She said she got an entire coffee mill, capable of handling the production of 300 acres, free from Kaanapali, Maui, and is working on water development.

Although Council races are now nonpartisan, Green Party member Jacobson hopes to hold on to the seat, which has been the party's stronghold for a decade. "We really do care about the environment," he said.

Three other candidates -- Fred Holschuh in Hamakua, Gary Safarik in lower Puna, and Joe Reynolds in central Kona -- appeared to have more than 50 percent of the votes in their races, enabling them to avoid a runoff.

Four others were unopposed: Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, James Arakaki and Aaron Chung in Hilo, and Curtis Tyler in North Kona.



Apana, Arakawa
square off again

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> The race for mayor of Maui County has narrowed into a rematch between two men who sought the office four years ago.

Mayor James "Kimo" Apana, who is seeking a second term, led in primary election votes last night, followed by Councilman Alan Arakawa and two others.

The two top vote-getters advance to the nonpartisan general election.

Both Arakawa and Apana said the voting had gone as anticipated.

"People think we did a good job and we should continue," said Apana, 40.

Arakawa said he feels confident he will win the general election after residents take a closer look and compare the records of the two candidates.

"We're going to show a lot of work that we've done," he said.

Arakawa, 51, ran as a Republican in the last mayoral race, and Apana as a Democrat, until a County Charter change this year required nonpartisan elections.

Apana defeated Arakawa in the 1998 general election. Arakawa regained his Council seat in Kahului two years ago.

Running for Arakawa's Kahului Council seat in the general election will be Diana Melehaulani Carroll, who has served as chief of staff for state Sen. J. Kalani English, and Maui Planning Commissioner Joseph Pontanilla.

The late Council Chairman Patrick Kawano's aide Dennis "Danny" Mateo and former Molokai Main Street Chairwoman Beverly Pauole-Moore will be competing for the Council seat on the Friendly Isle.



Kouchi, Baptiste
end in dead heat

By Anthony Sommer

LIHUE >> Nobody expected what candidate Ron Kouchi termed "a statistical dead heat" in the Kauai mayoral primary.

Kouchi and Bryan Baptiste finished so close together that campaign workers in both camps were saying "45 more days" -- the amount of time before the Nov. 5 general election. The top two candidates advance to the general election.

In Kouchi's camp, the next six weeks look a lot easier than they did a day earlier, when Kouchi was expected to finish a distant second.

The disappointment was all in the Baptiste camp, where campaign workers expected a huge margin that would allow them to skate into November's general election.

Baptiste said, "I expected it to be close," but that's not what his supporters were saying at the end of the evening.

Kouchi's backers were clearly pleased, saying they had "knocked the cockiness" out of Baptiste's campaign.

What remains is a tough fight over the 20 percent of the voters who supported third-place finisher Randall Valenciano.

Meanwhile, yesterday's vote marked a triumphant return for former Kauai Mayor JoAnn Yukimura. After her defeat in the 1994 Democratic primary, Yukimura went into a self-imposed political exile.

Yesterday, she made her comeback, ending up near the top of the list in the County Council primary. She is widely expected to make a strong bid to chair the Council after the general election.


Waiting for results:
neighbor isle mayor’s races

By Anthony Sommer and Gary T. Kubota |

On Kauai, candidates in the nonpartisan mayoral race were watching returns like it already was the general election.

All the conversation in all the camps was directed toward who THE winner would be. In fact, it was only to trim the field of four down to two.

Council Chairman Ron Kouchi, who hosted by far the largest party, at Kukui Grove Pavilions, was pacing a great deal and cautioning his supporters, "You know these things can flip-flop all night."

Over at the Lihue Neighborhood Center, Councilman Bryan Baptiste was in constant motion, working the crowd and encouraging his supporters, "It usually flip-flops with every count."

Councilman Randal Valenciano's party, even before the first count, was more a gathering of well-wishers than hopeful contenders. A late and underfinanced entry in the race, Valenciano has been considered a long shot since the start but totally capable of grabbing second place.

At the Kahului Shopping Center, supporters of the two Maui mayoral candidates who will meet in the Nov. 5 general election were serving up an assortment of food within a stone's throw of each other last night.

A big crowd turned out to support challenger Alan Arakawa on Friday night and to celebrate his 51st birthday. There were still several cakes left in the freezer for last night's celebration.

"It will be a good birthday gift for him to push him through to the general election," said Danny Agsalog, the campaign manager.

Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana expected some 1,500 supporters last night.

A production line of about a dozen volunteers was cleaning and chopping round onions at his headquarters early yesterday evening. Organizers had bought 500 dinner rolls and about 300 pounds of beef for huli-huli beef, beef stew and luau stew.

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