Rebecca Like, Kauai’s acting prosecutor, filed nomination papers this week to campaign in a special election for county prosecutor, a seat vacated last month by Justin Kollar who had held the job for nearly a decade.
A special primary election to replace Kollar is scheduled for Dec. 18, followed by a special general election on Feb. 26.
The winner will serve the remaining three years of Kollar’s term.
Like, of Anahola, has worked in the county prosecutor’s office since 2010, spending the last nine years as third-in-command of a 45-person staff.
Kollar has endorsed her, saying she’s intelligent, hardworking and “checks every single box that you would want in the person who runs the office.”
If voters elect her, Like said she’d improve programs that help former prisoners reenter society and bolster social services and diversion programs for people who commit low-level offenses, such as trespassing or disorderly conduct, and lack access to mental health care or housing.
The estimated cost to the county to hold the elections is $475,000, according to Kauai County Council Chairman Arryl Kaneshiro.
Kollar, who left the county on Sept. 30, has accepted a job as chief of staff for the nonprofit Fair and Just Prosecution and plans to relocate to California. He started working for the county in 2008, first as a county attorney, then as deputy prosecutor before winning three consecutive elections to serve as the county’s top prosecutor.
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