Categorized | Elections, Featured, News

Who’s running for office?

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

The County Council will have at least three new faces after this election.

Council members J Yoshimoto (Hilo) and Brenda Ford (South Kona) have each served four two-year terms and cannot run again. Zendo Kern is finishing his first term, but has chosen not to seek re-election.

Three candidates are vying for Ford’s seat, including Deputy County Clerk Maile David, who also ran in 2010 and 2012. Former council member, Aaron Chung, is among five candidates seeking to replace Yoshimoto. Seven candidates are seeking to replace Kern.

Meanwhile, Dennis Onishi (Hilo) and Dru Kanuha (Kona) are running without opposition. Onishi is seeking his fourth and last term.

Greggor Ilagan (Puna Makai) is facing three challengers Ilagan, including former Councilwoman Emily Naeole.

Margaret Wille (Waimea) has two challengers: Ronald Gonzales, Windward Planning Commission chairman, and Oliver Shimaoka.

Karen Eoff (North Kona) will face one challenger, Sean Hunter.

Valerie Poindexter (Hamakua) will face Larry Gering.

Council races are nonpartisan. If a candidate receives less than 50 percent of the votes, the top two square off during the Nov. 4 general election.


Nearly three dozen candidates are seeking state offices.

The state House and Senate includes 11 Big Island representatives, with 32 candidates vying for the 10 seats up for grabs this year.

Rep. Cindy Evans (Kohala, North Kona) will be the only incumbent not to face a challenger.

Once again, Sen. Malama Solomon faces challenger Lorraine Inouye, who previously has served as Hawaii County mayor and state senator.

Sen. Josh Green faces Michael Last, who has run for numerous offices in the last decade. Sen. Gilbert Kahele has two challengers.

Richard Creagan (Naalehu) faces four challengers as he seeks to secure his seat being appointed in January to replace Rep. Denny Coffman.

Rep. Faye Hanohano (Puna) has seven challengers. Some may feel the lawmakers is vulnerable. Hanohano, who has represented the district since 2007, earlier this year was reprimanded by House Speaker Joseph Souki earlier this year following racially charged remarks.

The Puna seat held by Rep. Russell Ruderman is not on the ballot this year.


In the U.S. Senate race, nine candidates are looking to oust Brian Schatz, who was appointed to replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Among the challengers is Colleen Hanabusa, who was tagged by Inouye to succeed him.

Two Big Island residents also are in the race – Joy Allison of Waikoloa and Brian Evans of Keaau.

In the U.S. House race, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has three challengers for the district that includes rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.

None of the candidates lives on the Big Island.


Voter registration deadline for the primary election is July 10. The primary is Aug. 9.


Candidates Seeking Big Island Seats
(* indicates an incumbent)

Hawaii County Council

District 1

• Larry Gering

• Valerie Poindexter*

District 2

• Aaron S.Y. Chung

• Shane Gali

• William (John) Halversen

• Margarita (Dayday) Hopkins

• Kerri Marks

District 3

• Dennis (Fresh) Onishi*

District 4

• Madie Greene

• Greggor Ilagan*

• Roy J. Lozano

• Emily I. Naeole

District 5

• Cherish Lee-Ann Almeida

• Daniel H. Cunningham

• Tiffany Edwards Hunt

• Roxanne (RJ) Hampton

• Tim Law

• Daniel K. Paleka, Jr.

• Frances Pua Pueo

District 6

• Richard E. (Ric) Abbett

• Maile David-Medeiros

• Jim D. Wilson

District 7

• Dru Mamo Kanuha*

District 8

• Karen S. Eoff*

• Sean Hunter

District 9

• Ronald S. Gonzales

• Oliver Shimaoka

• Margaret Wille*

State Senator

District 1

• Gregory (Kobata) Arianoff (L)

• Wendell Kaehuaea (D)

• Gilbert Kahele (D)*

District 3

• Josh Green (D)*

• Michael L. Last (L)

District 4

• Lorraine Rodero Inouye (D)

• Alain Schiller (L)

• Malama Solomon (D)*

State Representative

District 1

• Mark M. Nakashima (D)*

• Eric Drake Weinert (L)

District 2

• Edwin L.P. Miranda (D)

• Clifton K. (Clift) Tsuji (D)*

District 3

• Bill Dickson (R)

• Fred F. Fogel (L)

• Richard H.K. Onishi (D)*

District 4

• Leilani Bronson-Crelly (D)

• Faye Pua Hanohano (D)*

• Brian F. Jordan (D)

• Julia K. Peleiholani (D)

• Joy A. Sanbuenaventura (D)

• Gary Thomas (R)

District 5

• Dave Bateman (R)

• Richard P. Creagan (D)*

• Jon A. Lalanne (L)

• Gene (Bucky) Leslie (D)

• Randy Ruis (N)

District 6

• Kalei Akaka (D)

• Roy Ebert (R)

• Nicole Lowen (D)*

• Kelly Valenzuela (R)

District 7

• Cindy Evans (D)*


• Neil Abercrombie (D)*

• Duke Aiona (R)

• Charles (Trump) Collins (R)

• Jeff Davis (L)

• Misty Davis (N)

• Khis DeJean Caldwell (N)

• Mufi Hannemann (I)

• Stuart Todd Gregory (R)

• David Yutaka Ige (D)

• Richard Morse (N)

• Joseph R. Spatola (N)

• Van K. Tanabe (D)

Lietutenant Governor

• Elwin P. Ahu (R)

• Les Chang (I)

• Clayton Hee (D)

• Cynthia (Lahi) Marlin (L)

• Sam Puletasi (D)

• Miles Shiratori (D)

• Warner Kimo Sutton (R)

• Shan S. Tsutsui (D)*

• Mary Zanakis (D)

U.S. Senator

• Joy Allison (N)

• Cam Cavasso (R)

• Brian Evans (D)

• Harry J. Friel, Jr. (R)

• Colleen Wakako Hanabusa (D)

• Michael Kokoski (L)

• Eddie Pirkowski (R)

• Arturo Pacheco Reyes (N)

• John P. Roco (R)

• Brian Schatz (D)*

U.S. Representative

District 2

• Marissa D. Capelouto (R)

• Kawika Crowley (R)

• Tulsi Gabbard (D)*

• Joe Kent (L)

OHA (no island residency)

• Lei Ahu Isa

• Rowena M.N. Akana

• Kelii Akina

• Lahilahi Desoto-McCollough

• Jeremy Kama Hopkins

• Leona Mapuana Kalima

• Keikialoha T. Kekipi

• Kealii Makekau

• Harvey McInerny

• Landen D.K.K. Paikai

• Alona N. Quartero

• Lorraine Pualani Shin-Penn

• Mililani B. Trask

• John D. Waihee

• Hina Wong-Kalu

• Wes Kaiwi Nui Yoon

— For a complete list of candidates across the state, visit:

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