The Hawaii Legislature is on track to see few changes after this year’s election as many incumbents have no opponents and other races just aren’t competitive.

All 51 House seats and half of the 25-member Senate were up for election, but only a handful were close in the primary Saturday.

Voters look to have narrowly booted Rep. Jo Jordan from her seat representing Waianae, giving fellow Democrat Cedric Gates the nod instead.

Gates, a former Waianae Neighborhood Board member, had 52.2 percent of the vote to Jordan’s 41.9 percent with all precincts reporting.

Voters nearly dealt a similar blow to Rep. Sam Kong, who was leading Tracy Arakaki by 37 votes with all precincts reporting. Arakaki had been leading earlier in the night but the last wave of results gave Kong the edge.

Hawaii Senate District 13 Candidate Karl Rhoads is given a lei while spending time with his supporters at the Square Barrels Craft Burgers and Craft Beers bar Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, in Honolulu. Photo by Eugene Tanner
Karl Rhoads is given a lei while spending time with his supporters at Square Barrels Craft Burgers and Craft Beers, Saturday. He left his House seat to make a bid for Senate and comfortably won the Democratic primary. Eugene Tanner/Civil Beat

In other close contests, Reps. Isaac Choy and Cindy Evans and Sen. Russell Ruderman appear to have held onto their seats.

Choy was beating Dale Kobayashi by just six votes after the first wave of results, managing to stretch it to 58 votes by the time all precincts had reported.

“This has been a really grueling, taxing campaign.” Kobayashi told KHON2

Republicans failed to field a candidate in 32 state legislative races, and 16 incumbents ran unopposed in both the primary and general elections, including some of the most influential members, such as House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke, Majority Leader Scott Saiki and Senate Judiciary and Labor Chair Gil Keith-Agaran.

The chart below provides the most recent primary election results for every legislative race that had more than a single candidate. Read more about certain races below the chart.

Choy Holds On To Manoa House Seat

It’s tough to beat an incumbent, but Democratic challenger Kobayashi ran a tough campaign against longtime lawmaker Choy, who claimed his opponent had “carpet-bombed” him while campaigning.

Choy was up 47.6 percent to 46.3 percent in preliminary returns.

Hawaii State House of Representative District 23 Candidate Dale Kobayashi, right, poses for a picture with his daughter Erica Kobayashi at his campaign party Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, in Honolulu. Photo by Eugene Tanner
House candidates Dale Kobayashi, right, poses for a picture with his daughter Erica Kobayashi at his campaign party. Eugene Tanner/Civil Beat

Kobayashi, son of Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, won the support of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly — a major union and political player in House District 23 given the many faculty who live in Manoa.

Kobayashi raised more than double what incumbent Choy raised, but Choy outspent his novice opponent by nearly $15,000.

An upbeat Choy told KHON2 after the first round of results were announced that he expected to ultimately win the race. He acknowledged the criticism he’d received for some of his ideas to “tweak” the University of Hawaii, but said he just wants an affordable higher education system.

“I’ve always stood up for the students,” he said.

Rep Isaac Choy, right and Rep Angus talk during House session. 12 april 2016.
Rep Isaac Choy, right, talks to Rep. Angus McKelvey during a House floor session in April. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ruderman Fends Off Ilagan

Democrat Russell Ruderman appears on track to secure a second four-year term in the Senate representing District 2, which includes Puna and Kau.

He was leading Hawaii County Councilman Greggor Ilagan, 51.9 percent to 43.6 percent in preliminary returns.

Ruderman, a successful small businessman and environmentalist, wants to push for laws that boost local food production and increase the minimum wage to $15. He also has said he’d like to generate a discussion about letting the counties decide if they want to legalize recreational marijuana.

Ilagan, who became the youngest person ever elected to the Council at age 26 in 2012, wants to streamline government services and improve financial literacy.

Ruderman faces Libertarian Frederick Fogel in the general election.

Senator Brian Schatz greets Sen Russel Ruderman after speaking on the 2nd day of the Hawaii State Democratic Convention held at the Sheraton Hotel. 29 may 2016
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz greets state Sen. Russell Ruderman after speaking on the second day of the Hawaii State Democratic Convention in May. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Close Contest In Waianae Race

Democratic candidate Cedric Gates ran against Rep. Jo Jordan to represent Waianae.
Democratic candidate Cedric Gates ran against Rep. Jo Jordan to represent Waianae. Courtesy: Cedric Gates

Jordan had held the House District 44 seat since 2011 when former Gov. Neil Abercrombie first appointed her. She was reelected in 2012 and 2014.

But she came up short in 2016. There were 231 votes separating her from Gates with all precincts reporting.

In late July, Gates had a dustup with Democratic Party officials who he said sent emails out saying he wasn’t certified to be a Democrat and shouldn’t be on the ballot.

He’s also had to contend with his campaign signs being vandalized by people who spray-painted racial slurs.

The winner faces Republican Marc Pa’aluhi in the general. Pa’aluhi was up 48.4 percent to 42.9 percent over his opponent, Tamiko Sequin, according to the preliminary results.

Representative Jo Jordan speaks to reporters at the Waianae Boat Harbor. 19 june 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Rep. Jo Jordan has been pushing to clear a large homeless camp in her district and use the state land for other purposes. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Kong Falls To Arakaki

Democratic candidate Tracy Arakaki ran against Rep. Sam Slom to represent Aiea in the House.
Democratic candidate Tracy Arakaki ran against Rep. Sam Kong to represent Aiea in the House. Courtesy: Tracy Arakaki

Kong was trailing challenger Tracy Arakaki, 42.8 percent of the vote to Arakaki’s 42.2 percent, with all precincts reporting.

Kong was first elected in 2014 to the House District 33 seat, which represents Aiea. The florist is a strong opponent of tax increases.

This is Arakaki’s second time running against Kong. The news cameraman and small business owner lost to Kong in 2014 in a similarly close contest, falling short by 85 votes in the Democratic primary two years ago.

As in most state legislative races in Hawaii, the Democratic candidate easily wins the general election. Kong won in 2014 against Republican Robert Helsham, 65.8 percent to 23.7 percent.

There is no challenger, Republican or any other party, in the general election this year so the Democratic candidate wins outright in the primary.

Representative Sam Kong's office. State Capitol. 6 july 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Rep. Sam Kong, seen here in his office in July, ran against Tracy Arakaki in the Democratic primary again this year. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Former Senate President Keeps Seat

Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, the chamber’s former president, already had built one of the largest campaign war chests amongst her colleagues but that didn’t stop Carl Campagna from running.

She was up 78.3 percent to 13.4 percent with all precincts reporting.

Senator Donna Mercado Kim floor session. 3 may 2016.
Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, speaking here in May, looks to keep her seat. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A first-time candidate looking to take District 14, which runs from parts of Aiea to Kalihi, Campagna worked with the limited resources he had and hoped to win the seat by knocking on 8,000 doors in the district.

Though Campagna has a strong background in the Democratic Party and served on several committees, Kim’s 32-year political career and reputation as a strong voice in the Legislature proved insurmountable.

With no Republican challenger, or opponent from any other party, this primary race is a winner-take-all event.

Rhoads Succeeds Chun Oakland In Senate

Rep. Karl Rhoads left a secure House seat after 10 years to make a bid to fill a vacancy in the Senate created by Suzanne Chun Oakland’s retirement.

The decision paid off, as Rhoads was up 41.8 percent against his Democratic opponents, Kim Coco Iwamoto, who has 29.4 percent of the vote, and Keone Nakoa with 21.6 percent with all precincts reporting.

Rhoads, who had been the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, will face Republican Rod Tam in the general election.

Tam switched parties, quitting the Democrats, to run in this election.

He is a former state legislator and Honolulu City Council member who had to spend two nights in jail four years ago for stealing city funds and violating campaign spending laws. He was also ordered to perform 300 hours of community service, but his record has been wiped clean after staying out of trouble.

Judiciary Chair Rep Karl Rhoads conference committee with foreground Sen Gilbert Keith Agaran with hat. 26 april 2016.
Rep. Karl Rhoads, seen here last legislative session, decided to pursue a Senate seat instead of another House term. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ing Dominates Tegarden For Maui Seat

Rep. Kaniela Ing battled for a third term in the House against fellow Democrat Deidre Tegarden, who was protocol chief for Abercrombie and secured some substantial endorsements leading up to the election.

Ing, one of the state’s youngest lawmakers, had 61.9 percent of the vote to Tegarden’s 35.7 percent in the race to represent south Maui with all precincts reporting.

The winner faces Republican Danny Pekus in the general.

Rep. Kaniela Ing is seen here speaking on the House floor last session.
Rep. Kaniela Ing is seen here speaking on the House floor last session. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Chang Will Try To Unseat Slom

Former Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang was up against Democratic opponents Michael Bennett and Richard Kim in the race to ultimately try to unseat Republican Sen. Sam Slom in the general election.

Stanley Chang
Stanley Chang 

Chang had 65.4 percent of the vote, Bennett had 18.4 percent and Kim had 4.3 percent with all precincts reporting.

Slom, the Senate’s sole Republican, has held the District 9 seat representing East Honolulu for two decades.

Chang raised tens of thousands of dollars and racked up key endorsements from labor unions like the Hawaii Government Employees’ Association, the state’s biggest.

Bennett, an opthamologist, was running his first race. Kim is a musician who has struggled to raise campaign money.

Nakamura Wins Race For Kauai House Seat

The Democratic primary race for an empty House seat representing east and north Kauai pitted Nadine Nakamura, a planner, former councilwoman and county managing director, against Fern Anuenue Rosenstiel, an environmentalist who led the effort to establish buffer zones around areas where biotech companies that grow genetically engineered seeds spray pesticides.

Nakamura led 58.7 percent to 32.6 percent with all precincts reporting.

The rare open District 14 race was created when Rep. Derek Kawakami decided to run for Kauai County Council instead.

Kawakami received the most votes out of the 13 candidates for Council. All the candidates advance to the general election where the top seven will then be elected.

Nakamura will face Republican Sandi Combs in the general.

Nadine Nakamura, seen here campaigning in Kilauea, is running for state House.
Nadine Nakamura, seen here campaigning in Kilauea, is running for state House. Courtesy: Nadine Nakamura

Mizuno Easily Wards Off Challenger

House Vice Speaker John Mizuno faced a Democratic primary challenge in District 28 for the first time in 10 years.

Ikaika Hussey, an entrepreneur and publisher, first ran for office in 2000 at age 22 in the Kailua-Kaneohe area, but decided to strengthen his community roots before running again, this time in Kalihi.

Mizuno outspent his opponent this year by a nearly 5-to-1 margin.

Mizuno was leading 68.4 percent to 27.4 percent with all precincts reporting.

He will face Republican Carole Kaapu in the general.

Rep. John Mizuno applauds on opening day of the 2016 Hawaii Legislature.
Rep. John Mizuno applauds on opening day of the 2016 Hawaii Legislature. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Dems Battle To Unseat Fukumoto

In the Democratic primary for Mililani, former House District 36 lawmaker Marilyn Lee faced off against first-timer Zuri Aki, who cites Lee as a mentor.

Lee led 63.1 percent to 26.7 percent with all precincts reporting.

Republican Rep. Beth Fukumoto Chang ousted Lee from her seat in 2012 by a nearly 5 percent margin and won again in the 2014 election.

She will face Lee again in the Nov. 8 general election.

Marilyn Lee, who serves on the Mililani Neighborhood Board, is looking to be the Democratic candidate who will go up against Republican Beth Fukumoto Chang in the general election Nov. 8.
Marilyn Lee, who serves on the Mililani Neighborhood Board, is looking to be the Democratic candidate who will go up against Republican Beth Fukumoto Chang in the general election Nov. 8. Courtesy: Marilyn Lee

Battle For Rhoads’ Empty House Seat

Five Democrats entered the race to replace Rhoads, who ran for state Senate instead of seeking another term representing House District 29, which includes Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei and Chinatown.

Daniel Holt was leading with 30.4 percent, followed by Firmo Dayao with 23.9 percent, Alvin Au with 15.3 percent, James Logue with 13.8 percent and Valerie Belen Dionne, who got HGEA’s endorsement, with 8.5 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting.

Holt faces Republican Kaiwiola Coakley in the general election.

Big Island House Race Tight

Evans barely kept her Democratic opponent, David Tarnas, at bay in the House District 7 race to represent North Kona and Kohala.

She won with 48.7 percent of the vote to his 44.6 percent with all precincts reporting.

Tarnas held the House seat from 1994 to 1998, serving as chair of the Ocean Recreation and Marine Resources Committee. He runs a planning firm with his wife, Carolyn Stewart.

Representative Cindy Evans tropical fish testimony. 11 feb 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Rep. Cindy Evans, seen here holding written testimony during a hearing last session, faced David Tarnas in the primary election. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Kahele Keeps Hilo Senate Seat

Kai Kahele won his first election, beating his Democratic primary opponents Dennis “Fresh” Onishi and Kaloa Robinson in the race to represent 10,000 Hilo families in Senate District 1.

Kahele had 55.4 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting. Onishi has 34.1 percent and Robinson trailed with 6.6 percent.

Gov. David Ige appointed Kahele in January to fill the seat his late father, Gil Kahele, had held since 2011. He raised far more campaign money than his competitors and secured one endorsement after another in the months leading up to the primary.

Onishi, a Hawaii County Council member, was term-limited after eight years so he ran for the Senate seat. Robinson, a planner in the county housing office, had served for several years as former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka’s legislative assistant in the 1990s before moving back to Hawaii.

The winner faces Libertarian Kimberly Arianoff in the Nov. 8 general election.

Senator Kaialii Kahele conference committee with left, Senator Maiele Shimabukuro. 26 april 2016.
Sen. Kai Kahele looks to keep the seat he was appointed to last January. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Eli Will Go Up Against Tupola

Two Democrats squared off in the House District 43 contest to unseat Republican Rep. Andria Tupola.

Former state Rep. Karen Awana was trailing with 40.3 percent of the vote, and Stacelynn Eli, whom HGEA endorsed, was leading with 51.6 percent with all precincts reporting.

Awana resigned from her House leadership position in 2013 after facing thousands of dollars in penalties for breaking state campaign finance laws.

Tupola won her first term in the House in a campaign against Awana in the 2014 election, bringing in 56 percent of the vote.

Learn more about the candidates here. See all the election results here.

– Courtney Teague contributed reporting to this story. Jaelynn Grisso produced the interactive chart.

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