Hawai‘i Incumbents, Favored Newcomers Post Strong Showing on Election Day
Initial election results for the state of Hawai‘i were delayed several hours due to huge voter turnout to the polls on Election Day with final ballots being cast on O‘ahu after 11 p.m. Tuesday.
The first printout from the state elections office, initially scheduled to be released at 7 p.m., was put out at approximately 11:20 p.m.
Early results showed most incumbents for Hawai‘i County’s leadership positions in the House of Representatives would keep their seats. They also indicated that incumbent Ed Case would remain in the US House of Representatives and that probably victors would claim the state’s second US House seat as well as the only Big Island State Senate seat up for grabs on Tuesday.
The third and final printout, published at 1:23 a.m. on Wednesday confirmed the numbers from earlier in the election process.
US House of Representatives Results
US House District 1
Ed Case (D) won reelection easily over Republican challenger Ron Curtis, capturing more than 65% of the vote to less than 25% for Curtis. More than 10% of voters left the race blank.
US House District 2
Kai Kahele (D) has garnered the majority of the vote with 63.2%. All other challengers trailed far behind him with Joe Akana (R) coming second with 23.4% of the vote. Kahele will replace Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Senate District 2
Former District 4 Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, (D-Puna) defeated challenger Ron Ka-Ipo (A) in the race for Senate District 2. According to the third and final printout, San Buenaventura captured 13,765 votes over Ka-Ipo who has so far garnered 4,443 votes. The two were vying to replace Russell E. Ruderman who decided not to run for reelection.
State House of Representatives
Democratic incumbent Mark M. Nakashima (D-Hāmākua, North Hilo, South) bested opponent Lorraine Pualani Shin (R) with 68.7% of the vote. According to the third and final printout, Nakashima garnered 8,598 votes over Shin who nabbed 3,310 votes.
Democratic incumbent Chris Todd (D-Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea) beat Devin Shaw McMackin Sr. (A), capturing 77.8% of the vote with 9,189 votes. McMackin trailed behind, garnering only 1,460 votes.
Incumbent Richard Onishi (D-Hilo, Kea‘au, Kurtistown, Volcano) trounced Republican challenger Susan Hughes with 67% of the vote and a total of 7,977 votes. Hughes claimed 3,034 votes.
Llagan Gregor (D) kept a strong lead, with 65.9% of the vote totaling 7,483 votes, against challengers Hope Cermelj (R) with 1,870 votes and Desmon Antone Haumea (A) with 1,302 votes. Gregor will replace Joy San Buenaventura who will fill the Senate District 2 seat.
Jeanné Kapela (D) easily defeated opponents obtaining 8,069 votes. Challengers Michael (R) Last received 1,565 votes and Johanna Decker (A) garnered 792. Kapela will represent Na‘alehu, Ocean View, Captain Cook, and Kailua-Kona. The seat was left vacant by Richard P. Creagan, (D) who decided not to run for reelection.
Democratic incumbent Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau) ran unopposed in the General Election and will keep her seat, serving a fifth term in the Hawai‘i House of Representatives.
Democratic incumbent David Tarnas (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala), who reemerged last election cycle following 20 years in private life, ran unopposed. He will serve a second consecutive term for the second time in his political career.