In Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s first six months in office, donors gave his campaign $639,000, according to a campaign finance report filed on Monday. 

It’s a significant haul for the mayor, besting the amounts that two prospective gubernatorial candidates raised in the first half of the year. Lt. Gov. Josh Green and former mayor Kirk Caldwell raised $424,212 and $9,760, respectively, their reports show.

Most of Blangiardi’s donation money was paid out to the mayor and his wife to reimburse them for loans they issued to his campaign: $450,000 to Blangiardi and $15,000 to his wife Karen Chang, the report shows. 

Stock Mayor Rick Blangiardi at the Waikiki Shell.
Mayor Rick Blangiardi loaned his campaign $450,000. Recent donations allowed him to pay himself back. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

The mayor received 170 donations from Jan. 1 through June 30, according to the report. 

Many of the donations were from construction and contracting executives including Nan Chul Shin, founder of rail contractor Nan Inc.; Castle and Cooke President Harry Saunders; D.R. Horton President Robert Bruhl; Robert McFarlane, chairman of the board of Dura Constructors, Inc.; Avalon Development President Christine Camp; and Bert Kobayashi, Jr., president and CEO of the Kobayashi Group. 

Executives and employees of several companies were especially generous: executives of the MacNaughton development firm gave $24,000, RM Towill Corporation employees gave $24,000, Royal Contracting executives gave $16,000. 

Employees of several other companies – Design Partners, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company and H2O Process System – each gave $12,000.  

Other donors include Walter Dods, a longtime influential business leader and retired chairman of Matson, Inc.; JL Capital CEO Timothy Lee; Cameron Nekota, president of the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation; Dennis Enomoto, principal of Palekana Permits; and Chad Iwamoto, president and CEO of Roberts Hawaii. 

The vast majority of the donations were $4,000, the maximum allowable contribution from an individual. That amount was also the suggested contribution at two fundraisers hosted by developer Stanford Carr for Blangiardi in March and April at Little Joe’s Steakhouse, dates on which many of the donations were logged, donations data shows. 

In addition to paying back loans, the Blangiardi campaign also spent over $48,000 on various expenses, including over $23,000 for catering the fundraisers at Little Joe’s Steakhouse, nearly $20,000 to CGO Green LLC for marketing and over $700 on thank-you cards. 

The mayor’s campaign has a surplus of $118,336 and debts totaling $7,677, according to the report. 

Blangiardi’s office referred questions to his campaign. Civil Beat reached out to the campaign for comment on Tuesday but did not receive a response.

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