Voters on Kauai and in Maui County were choosing new mayors Tuesday.

In election results from Kauai, former state Rep. Derek Kawakami beat County Council Chairman Mel Rapozo 65.1 percent to 30.9 percent.

On Maui, County Council veteran Mike Victorino beat Elle Cochran 53.6 percent to 43.8 percent.

Farther down the ballot, neighbor island voters sorted through many other candidates.

Kauai

Derek Kawakami’s platform includes pledges to alleviate chronic traffic problems and build affordable workforce housing in Lihue.

Derek Kawakami

Kauai is ushering in an era of political change as Mayor Bernard Carvalho is term-limited out following a decade in the executive chair, and the largest candidate field ever battled for three open seats on the County Council.

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

Kawakami campaigned on a pledge to address the island’s housing crisis by building more units, especially in Lihue near the island’s biggest concentration of jobs. He supports building small units for young adults and kupuna, implementing new planning approaches to mitigate damage to infrastructure and development from coastal flooding and taking action to resolve chronic traffic congestion.

There were 14 candidates vying for the county’s seven council seats. The top seven vote-getters as of lateTuesday evening are Arryl Kaneshiro, Mason K Chock, Luke A. Evslin, Ross Kagawa, KipuKai L.P. Kualii, Arthur Brun and Felicia Cowden.

Kauai is the only County Council in the state without geographic districts.

Maui

Elle Cochran, left, has served four terms on the Maui Council. Mike Victorino, father to retired baseball star Shane Victorino, served five terms on the council.

Victorino campaigned on a promise to bolster the county’s slim supply of affordable and workforce housing options by incentivizing developers to build affordable housing, forcing developers to set a timeline for finishing their projects and increasing rent-to-own units for Maui’s workforce.

Another policy priority for Victorino is moving planned and existing infrastructure and developments away from shorelines in the face of sea level rise.

Environmental issues rank high with Victorino, who has said he intends to unify the Valley Isle’s water system,  which is currently divided into four separate systems in West Maui, Central, Upcountry and East Maui. These divisions, he said, creates problems with getting needed water to some areas.

He proposes building three 100-million-gallon wells in Upcountry and then connecting the Central and Upcountry systems.

Mayor Alan Arakawa was term-limited and cannot seek another four years in office. He campaigned for County Council instead, but he trailed behind Tasha Kama, who garnered 56.4 percent of the vote late Tuesday evening. Arakawa had 34.8 percent of the votes.

Three other seats will be decided on Maui’s nine-member County Council.

For West Maui, Tamara Paltin beat Rick Nava 56 percent to 28.8 percent.

For Makawao-Haiku-Paia, Mike Molina beat Trinette Furtado 47.9 percent to 40.5 percent.

For Molokai, Keani Rawlins-Fernandez beat Stacy Helm Crivello 43.7 percent to 40.8.

Big Island

There was no mayoral election on Hawaii Island, and only one contested County Council race.

In District 7, Rebecca Villegas beaet Kelly Drysdale 49.5 percent to 37.9 percent.

The following candidates won their council seats in August by earning more than half of the vote in the 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.

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

A message to our readers

Civil Beat is a nonprofit newsroom. Without your support, our stories don’t just go unread – they go untold. This year, Civil Beat is a proud participant in NewsMatch – the nation’s largest fundraising campaign to increase support for nonprofit news organizations like Honolulu Civil Beat. Now until December 31st, a group of national foundations will match each individual donation to Civil Beat, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000. Now is your chance to double your impact!

About the Author