Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Primary Election: Be Sure to Vote (For These Folks)

August 13, 2016

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Editorial Staff

Today’s primary election gives voters a chance to winnow the field for the Nov. 8 general election or elect their chosen candidate outright.

For those who’ve already voted, congratulations on fulfilling your civic duty.

For those Oahu voters headed to the polls today, here’s a recap of our recommendations in key contested primary races:

HONOLULU MAYOR

If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, he is elected outright. Otherwise, the top two finishers advance to the Nov. 8 general election. Of the 13 candidates, incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell has the most executive experience and practical knowledge to handle the tough challenges ahead — homelessness, infrastructure and most critically, the rail transit project.

HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL

In District 1 (Ewa Villages, Kapolei, Makakilo, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha), our choice, the incumbent Kymberly Pine, has always been a strong advocate for her West Oahu constituents. Candidates for three other contested seats will advance to the general, because those races have only two candidates each.

U.S. SENATE

In a crowded field, the incumbent, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, is the obvious choice against his four inexperienced rivals in the Democratic contest. For the Republicans, our choice is also based on experience: former state Sen. John Carroll.

U.S. HOUSE

>> District 1: The accomplished and capable Colleen Hanabusa has a formidable resume, having held the seat from January 2011 to January 2015.

>> District 2: The outspoken Democratic incumbent, Tulsi Gabbard, has become a prominent national political figure and a fine representative of her congressional district.

Neither GOP candidate has the requisite qualifications to serve in the U.S. Congress, so we cannot recommend in that race.

STATE SENATE

Most of these districts have incumbents competing in either the primary or the general. One exception is District 13, where three Democrats are competing to replace outgoing state Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland. In District 14, today’s victor will be elected outright; the other districts’ primary-election winners will face rivals in the general. Our choices in contested races today:

>> District 9 (Diamond Head-Kahala-Hawaii Kai): Stanley Chang

>> District 10 (Moiliili-Kaimuki-Palolo): Les Ihara

>> District 13 (Downtown-Nuuanu-Liliha): Karl Rhoads

>> District 14 (Kalihi Valley-Moanalua-Halawa): Donna Mercado Kim

>> District 19 (Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point): Chris Fidelibus

>> District 25 (Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua): Robert Nagamine

STATE HOUSE

Of Oahu’s 35 state House seats, 12 incumbents have no opponents, and so will be elected outright in the primary. Nine races have candidates with no political-party rivals in the primary, so they will compete in the general. In Districts 23, 30, 33, 49 and 50, the winner will be elected outright. In two races, the candidates did not meet our minimum standards for endorsement.

>> District 22 (Waikiki-Ala Moana-Kakaako): Tom Brower

>> District 23 (Manoa-Punahou-Moiliili): Isaac Choy

>> District 24 (Moiliili-Makiki-Tantalus): Della Au Belatti

>> District 28 (Kamehameha Heights-Kalihi Valley): John Mizuno

>> District 29 (Chinatown-Iwilei-Kalihi): Alvin Au

>> District 30 (Sand Island-Kalihi-Airport): None

>> District 33 (Halawa-Aiea-Newtown): Tracy Arakaki

>> District 36 (Mililani-Mililani Mauka-Waipio Acres): Marilyn B. Lee

>> District 40 (Ewa-Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point): Randy Gonce

>> District 43 (Kalaleloa-Ko Olina-Maili): Karen Awana

>> District 44 (Waianae-Makaha-Makua): Jo Jordan (D), Marc Paaluhi (R)

>> District 47 (Waialua-Kahuku-Waiahole): None

>> District 49 (Kaneohe-Maunawili-Kailua): Ken Ito

>> District 50 (Kailua-Kaneohe): Cynthia Thielen

READ full article here: http://www.staradvertiser.com/2016/08/13/editorial/primary-election-be-sure-to-vote-for-these-folks/

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