By Jim Bea Sampaga
Hawaii voter turnout shattered previous records in the state’s first all-mail voting system, elections officials reported. Even before Primary Election day, the state Office of Elections said it received 380,000 ballots, over 100,000 more compared to the previous record set in 1994.
It was a mixed-bag result in the Primary for candidates of Filipino ancestry with a few of them moving onto the General. Two of the most hotly contested races to be continued are for Honolulu City Council. In City Council District 7, Fil-Am Radiant Cordero received 47.5 % of votes compared to Jacob Aki’s 42.29%. In City Council District 9, Fil-Ams garnered the top two positions Will Espero 39.68% to Agusto Tulba’s 36.66%. In both non-partisan races, top finishers failed to meet the 50 %+1 requirement and must compete in the General.
Other General Election faceoffs with Fil-Am candidates include: Lanakila Mangauil for OHA Hawaii Resident Trustee; Sonny Ganaden and Tess Quilingking for State House District 30; and Dominic Yagong for Hawaii Council District 1.
In the nonpartisan race for Mayor of Honolulu, FilAm candidate Kym Pine placed fourth with 14.4% of the votes, missing the cut for the top two spots to continue to the General. Former TV news executive Rick Blangiardi (25.7%) and businessman Keith Amemiya (20.6%) placed first and second, respectively, and will face off in the General. Former congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa finished a close third (18.6%) and former mayor of Honolulu rounded up the top five at 10.1%.
Primary Election Winners
Fil-Ams declared winners for this election cycle after the Primary are Henry Aquino, State House District 38 (Waipahu); Gil Coloma Keith-Agaran, State Senate, District 5 (Wailuku, Waihe’e, Kahului); TY J.K. Cullen, State House District 39 (Royal Kunia, Village Park,Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch); Donovan Dela Cruz, State Senate, District 22 (Mililani Mauka,Waipi’o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Poamoho); Sonny Ganaden, State House, District 30 (Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Halawa Valley Estate); Diamond Garcia, State House, District 43 (Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili); Austin Maglinti, State House, District 39 (Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch); Tess Abalos Quilingking, State House, District 30 (Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Ilsand, Halawa Valley Estate); Joy San Buenaventura, State Senate, District 2 (Puna); and Joseph Kaahema Simpliciano Jr., State House, District 44 (Maili, Waianae, Makaha and Makua).
There were more than 10 Fil-Am candidates losing on Primary Election day, most notable was veteran politician, former State House member, former City Councilman Romy Cachola. He was defeated by newcomer Sonny Ganaden in the State House, District 30 race.