Honolulu City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga overcame a union challenge to take the lead in the District 6 race Saturday night, with 42.7 percent of the vote.

She will now face a run-off election on Nov. 4 against Sam Aiona, who got 22.7 percent of the vote.

Candidates that receive more than 50 percent of the vote win the race, otherwise the top two candidates proceed to the general election.

Joli Tokusato trailed with 18 percent and Steve Miller, with 4 percent.

The district includes much of Oahu’s urban core, including downtown Honolulu, Makiki, Punchbowl, Alewa Heights and Kalihi.

Fukunaga is a veteran politician. She served 10 years in the state House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 1992. She lost her Senate seat in 2012 after redistricting and has just finished her first term on the City Council, taking over for Tulsi Gabbard, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Aiona, a former state representative and past state chair of the Republican Party, narrowly lost to Fukunaga in the last City Council race. His campaign has emphasized the city’s need for affordable housing, particularly in up-and-coming Kakaako, which is undergoing a major state-led development boom.

Tokusato is a leader in the Local 5 union, which represents hotel workers. Fukunaga angered Local 5 when she deferred a bill that would stymy the conversion of Waikiki hotels into condominiums — a trend that the union says is responsible for the loss of hundreds of jobs. Tokusato had the strong backing of AiKea Unite Here, an independent expenditure campaign created by Local 5 that describes itself as a progressive, grass-roots political movement.

Fukunaga has fended off attacks regarding tax hikes for the elderly and her allegiance to developers.

Miller, a phone technician and political newcomer, ran on a platform that stresses fiscal responsibility and the privatization of city services. He also supports the legalization of marijuana to bring in more revenue for the city.

District 4

Tommy Waters, an attorney and former state representative, led the District 4 race with 33 percent of the vote as of Sunday morning. He will now face Trevor Ozawa who secured 26 percent of votes.

Ozawa is an attorney and former legislative aide for Councilman Stanley Chang.

Tommy Waters primary

Tommy Waters watches election returns at The Crown.

Sophie Cocke/Civil Beat

Natalie Iwasa received 23 percent of votes and Carl Strouble 2 percent.

The district includes Waikiki and some of the island’s wealthiest neighborhoods, including Aina Haina, Black Point and Diamond Head, as well as Kaimuki and Hawaii Kai.

The winner will replace Chang, who lost a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives.

A crowd of supporters of Waters erupted in cheers at The Crown, a bar on Kapiolani Avenue when the returns were announced.

“We are extremely happy,” Waters, with a huge smile, told Civil Beat. “We have been working so hard for the last six months, walking door to door, sign waving twice a day for the past three months, mass canvassing of the neighborhoods every weekend. I’m just so thankful.”

The race has been one of the most competitive this year, with Iwasa, Waters and Ozawa aggressively canvassing neighborhoods.

All of the candidates cited the homeless problem, particularly in Waikiki, and lack of affordable housing as top issues for their district, and their positions on those issues are similar.

All supported the city’s policy of creating housing for the street homeless population, ranging from whole families to individuals suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. However, they differed slightly on the mayor’s “compassionate disruption” campaign, aimed at prodding the homeless into shelters and moving them out of areas like Waikiki by aggressively enforcing city nuisance laws.

District 2

In the District 2 race to represent the North Shore, Wahiawa and Mililani mauka, City Council Chair Ernie Martin easily retained his seat with 64 percent of the votes.

Trailing him were Dan Hara, a financial advisor, with 14 percent and organic farmer, Dave Burlew, with 5 percent.

Burlew ran on a platform of land use issues, opposing rural development and championing policies that increase agriculture and food security.

Hara stressed the need to shore up the city’s finances, reduce its unfunded liability and debt service.

District 8

Brandon Elefante, a legislative aide to Councilman Breene Harimoto, secured 48 percent of the vote in the District 8 race. But because he had more votes than his three opponents combined, he won the race with more than 50 percent of the vote. (Just over one-fourth of ballots cast in the race were left blank.)

Baybee Hufana-Ablan recieved 14 percent. Hufana-Ablan, a medical supplies manager, works for Quality Medical Supply Corporation and serves on the Pearl Harbor Neighborhood Board. She’s also worked as a senior advisor for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department.

Both candidates have stressed the need to increase safety in the district and reduce pedestrian deaths.

The other two candidates, Brysen Poulton and Russ Grunch, received less than 10 percent of votes.

The district includes the heavily suburban area of central Oahu, including Waipahu, Pearlridge, Lower Aiea, Pearl City, Waipio Gentry, Seaview, Crestview, Newtown and Waimalu.

For complete election results, visit the Hawaii State Elections Office.

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