Maui’s Mike Victorino and Kauai’s Derek Kawakami way ahead in mayoral races

A former county councilman on Maui and a current county councilman on Kauai are in leading positions to become the next mayor on those neighbor islands after early voting results today.

On Maui, Mike Victorino had a nearly 60 percent to 40 percent lead over challenger and Councilwoman Elle Cochran based on absentee votes.

On Kauai, Derek Kawakami led Council Chairman Mel Rapozo by 65 percent to 31 percent.

The jobs of mayor on Kauai and Maui counties are up for grabs because current mayors — Alan Arakawa on Maui and Bernard Carvalho Jr. on Kauai — have reached their term limits after serving two four-year terms.

Victorino, an insurance company executive and father to recently retired professional baseball star Shane Victorino, had spent 10 years on the Maui County Council and left in 2016 after maxing out his term limit.

Kawakami served on the Kauai County Council from 2008 to mid-2011, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie to the state House of Representatives. Kawakami then returned to the County Council in 2016.

Races for council seats on the two islands along with Hawaii island are also being decided by voters.

In the race for the 9-member Maui County Council, the leaders after early vote results were Shane Sinenci, Tamara Akiko Maile Paltin, Alice Lee, Natalie Kama, Kelly Takaya King, Mike Molina, Yuki Lei Kashiwa Sugimura, Riki Hokama and Stacy Helm Crivello. In Sinenci’s race, the early vote lead was extremely slim.

Four of the leaders for Maui County Council are incumbents — King, Sugimura, Hokama and Crivello.

One other incumbent, Alika Atay, was trailing Lee. Also trailing was Arakawa, who is competing with Kama.

In the race for jobs on the 7-member Kauai County Council, a field of 14 contenders campaigned for seats that are not segmented by district. The seven leaders after early vote results include four incumbents — Arryl Kaneshiro, Mason Chock, Ross Kagawa and Arthur Brun. The other three leaders are Luke Evslin, KipuKai Kualii and Milo Spindt. However, the difference between the seventh place candidate, Spindt, and the next three vote-getters is less than 1 percent.

For the County Council on Hawaii island, there was only one contest Tuesday because eight other seats on the nine-member council had either been decided in the primary election or were not contested. In the one position on the general election ballot, Rebecca Villegas had an early lead by about 10 percentage points over Kelly Drysdale to represent parts of North and South Kona.

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