Power Of Incumbency On Display In Honolulu City Council Races

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Can you say five for five? Officeholders seeking re-election all have the edge over challengers in money, name recognition.

There may be suspense in a hotly contested mayor’s race, but don’t expect big changes in the Honolulu City Council after this year’s election.

Five of the nine Council posts are up for grabs. No one is running against Councilman Ikaika Anderson, who represents Waimanalo and Kailua.

Council members Kymberly Pine, Joey Manahan, Ron Menor and Ann Kobayashi are all seeking re-election and each have at least one opponent. The incumbents had all raised significantly more money than their adversaries as of Dec. 31, 2015 and none of their challengers has reported holding a single campaign fundraiser yet…

A Four-Person Primary In District 1

The only City Council race on the Aug. 13 primary is in Pine’s District 1, which stretches from Ewa Beach to Waianae. On Oahu, two-person races for nonpartisan offices go straight to the November ballot.

It’s also the only race in which an incumbent is facing off against well-known competitors. Two of Pine’s three challengers are former Councilman Tom Berg and Neighborhood Board member Kioni Dudley, who led spirited opposition against a 11,750-home development by D.R. Horton called Hoopili.

But John Hart, professor of communication at Hawaii Pacific University, said name recognition may count against Berg, who was fined $250 in 2012 for violating campaign spending laws and videotaped in 2011 trying to enter a conference while drunk.

Councilwoman Kymberly Pine would have to dominate a four-person race in August to avoid a November runoff.

“Tom is known, but that’s not necessarily a good thing,” Hart said. Berg didn’t respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Pine also has a big money advantage. Her latest campaign spending report indicated that she had $26,445 as of the end of last year.

Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

One comment

  1. If money “talks”… it is speaking LOUD and CLEAR. We, the People should be the determining factor in our representation, not the $$$ poured into campaign funds that in essence allow NOTHING to change for the better in our District. Votes are priceless…let’s all vote KIONI DUDLEY and have OUR voice heard and direction changed to reflect how we are important on a day to day basis and not only during the election season.

    Like

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