UPDATED Thursday 10/17/2013 at 7:30 a.m.

Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang has raised nearly twice as much as his nearest competitor in the race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.

But another councilman, Ikaika Anderson, may have the bragging rights coming out of the latest fundraising cycle.

Chang raised $309,000 in campaign donations, including $125,000 during the quarter that ended Sept. 30. He began his campaign in late April to replace Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is challenging Sen. Brian Schatz in the 2014 Democratic primary.

While Anderson only entered the race Aug. 8, he pulled in an impressive $163,000 in the third quarter, a lot of it from big name developers, engineers, real estate interests and contractors who may wish to curry favor with the man who chairs the city’s Zoning and Planning Committee. While many of those same folks previously contributed to Chang’s campaigns, he arguably doesn’t have the same clout as Anderson, who has more extensive government experience.

Another Democrat in the race, state House Rep. Mark Takai, also did well, raising $120,000, although he’s only been running since Aug. 7.

The big loser so far in the CD1 money race is state Sen. Will Espero, who entered the race in late July but has pulled in a mere $36,000.

A fifth Democrat, Kathryn Xian, who jumped into the race on the last day of the third quarter, reported raising just $1,100 and had $614 in cash on hand.

It’s a long way until the Aug. 9 primary, and there is talk that Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann may enter the contest. So far there are no declared Republican candidates to take on whoever emerges from the Democratic primary.

But in terms of fundraising, Chang and Anderson are leading the pack with Takai a strong third.

Anderson, who reported having $108,000 in cash on hand, has received only $1,450 from political action committees, including First Hawaiian Bank and the law and lobbying firm Watanabe Ing. (He has also spent a third of his donations on things like ritzy catering by Michel’s at the Colony Surf and Morton’s Steakhouse.)

Anderson’s individual donations read like the who’s who of Hawaii developers, engineers, real estate execs and contractors. The list includes:

Jeff Arce, The MacNaughton Group; Robin Boolukos, Castle & Cooke Properties; Robert Q. Bruhl, D R Horton Schuler Homes; Christine Camp, Avalon Development; Stanford S. Carr, Stanford Carr Development; Mitch A. D’Olier, Kaneohe Ranch Management; Michael Doyle, Group Pacific (Hawaii); Russell Figueiroa, R.M. Towill Corp; David C. Hulihee, Royal Contracting; Kathryn W. Inouye, Kobayashi Group; Michael T. Jones, D.R. Horton; Bert A. Kobayashi, Jr., Kobayashi Group; Stanley M. Kuriyama, Alexander & Baldwin; Duncan MacNaughton, The MacNaughton Group; Dennis Mitsunaga, Mitsunaga & Associates; Gary T. Okamoto, Wilson Okamoto Corporation; Jeffrey Overton, Group 70 International; David Rae, Aina Nui Corp; Harry A. Saunders, III, Castle & Cooke Hawaii

It is not unusual for executives in such industries to donate to several campaigns. Many of the people on the list — as well as other influential players like Don Horner and Bill Kaneko — actually gave to multiple candidates running for the same CD1 seat. But Anderson’s donor list is impressive and suggests electability; other supporters include retired banker Walter Dods, who backs Hanabusa for Senate, and HMSA executive Tim Johns, who supported Mazie Hirono in her Senate race.


Asked why so many people interested in zoning and planning are giving him financial support, Anderson told Civil Beat via email, “Our campaign has received contributions from many of the same contributors who have also financially contributed to our competitors. No contributor buys one iota of influence w/ a campaign contribution, period. I believe that the people of Hawaii, including those who create jobs, are hungry for a candidate with a proven track record of bringing people together and getting results.”1

Chang has influential people giving him money, too, including Johns, Figueiroa, Kaneko, Kuriyama, D’Olier, Acre and MacNaughton, as well as David Carey of Outrigger, Allen Doane of Alexander & Baldwin and contractor Ralph S. Inouye. He has received only $5,450 from PACs including First Hawaiian Bank and Watanabe Ing (which also donated to Espero).

Chang has not spent much of his war chest; he has $273,000 in the bank. Among his few expenses so far were the rental of the upscale Pacific Club and the Plaza Club for campaign functions.

Takai has $112,000 in cash, with just a handful of expenditures, including paying AALA Meat Market for his campaign kickoff event. Recognizable contributors include Arthur Ushijima of Queens Health, who also gave to Espero, Chang and Anderson.

Another Takai donor that stands out: Jim Donovan, athletic director at Cal State Fullerton. Takai defended Donovan, the University of Hawaii’s former athletic director, who left UH not long after the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco.

Espero also attracts some of the same well-known contributors as his opponents, including Horner, Kobayashi and Kuriyama as well as well-known local lobbyists like Alicia Maluafiti, Red Stone and John Radcliffe. But they donate to practically everyone. Espero also spent $5,000 to rent the Honolulu Country Club.

Asked about his slight campaign haul, Espero acknowledged his challenge and said he expected to do better in the fourth quarter.

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