Voters on the neighbor islands sorted through dozens of candidates, setting up runoffs for mayors on two islands and county councils throughout the state.

On Kauai, former state lawmaker and current Councilman Derek Kawakami and County Council Chair Mel Rapozo are headed for a runoff for the mayor’s office in the general election.

On The Valley Isle, council members Mike Victorino and Elle Cochran will battle for Maui County’s executive office in November.

Kauai’s Kawakami was the top vote-getter in the primary with 48.2 percent of the vote in the battle for the county’s mayor seat, while Rapozo grabbed 22 percent of the vote. Former mayor and longtime Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura had 19.8 percent, according to the state Office of Elections.

The top two candidates advance to the general election.

Kauai County is ushering in an era of political change as Mayor Bernard Carvalho is term-limited out following a decade in the executive chair, and a field of two dozen candidates vie for seats on the County Council.

Carvalho, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor, is the longest-serving mayor in county history.

Seven candidates are vying to replace outgoing Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., who is retiring because of term limits. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Seven candidates were seeking to replace him. Apart from the three frontrunners, they included Kauai Parks Director Lenny Rapozo, Debra Kekaualua and Clint Yago. 

On the county council, a nearly unprecedented three open seats attracted the largest candidate field ever.

All told, 24 candidates ran to fill seven seats. Kauai is the only county council in the state without districts.

The top 14 advancing to the general election include: Arryl Kaneshiro, Ross Kagawa, Mason K Chock, Luke A. Evslin, Arthur Brun, KipuKai L.P. Kualii, Norma Doctor Sparks, Juno Ann A. Apalla, Shaylene Lei Maile Iseri, Billy D. Decosta, Milo K.F. Spindt, Felicia Cowden, Kanoe Ahuna and Adam P. Roversi.

Absentee ballots were been made available to voters affected by the mid-April deluge that damaged hundreds of homes and shut down the road to the farthest reaches of the north shore.


On Maui, council member Victorino was the top vote-getter in the battle for the mayor’s seat.

Victorino got 39.8 percent of the vote while Cochran had 30.6 percent and council member Donald Guzman had 24 percent.

Also vying for the county’s executive chair were Beau Hawkes, Alec Hawley, Laurent Zahnd and Orion Kopelman.

Mayor Alan Arakawa was term-limited and cannot seek another four years in office. He’s running for county council instead.

Four seats are open on Maui’s nine-member county council, with three candidates campaigning to represent the West Maui, Kahului, Makawao-Haiku-Paia and Molokai districts.

For West Maui, Tamara Akiko Maile Paltin and Rick Nava advance to the general election.

For Kahului, Natalie Kama and Arakawa advance.

For Makawao-Haiku-Paia, Mike Molina and Trinette Furtado advance.

For Molokai, Stacy Helm Crivello and Keani Rawlins-Fernandez advance.

Big Island

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim’s chief executive seat was not up for grabs this election. But there were multiple candidates running for all but two of the Hawaii County Council seats.

The following candidates won their council seat by earning more than half of the vote in Saturday’s primary: Valerie T. Poindexter for District 1, Aaron S. Y. Chung for District 2, Ashley Kierkiewicz for District 4, Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder for District 5, Maile David for District 6 and Herbert Tim Richards for District 9.

In District 7, Rebecca Villegas and Kelly Drysdale advance to the general election.

Hawaii County Council members Susan Lee Loy and Karen Eoff were unopposed in their re-election campaigns in District 3 and District 8, respectively.

Absentee ballots were automatically mailed to voters affected by the lava and originally assigned to vote at Pahoa Community Center and Pahoa High/Intermediate School,  due to the continuing volcanic eruption along the lower East Rift Zone. Pahoa Community Center was open for Primary Day voting; however, Pahoa High/Intermediate School was closed.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author