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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:51 a.m., Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Elarionoff, Jacobson lead in council races

By Hugh Clark
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

HILO, Hawai‘i — Preliminary results for the two remaining Hawai'i County Council seats show Leningrad Elarionoff ahead in his bid for a third term and Bob Jacobson leading the race to succeed his wife, two-term Councilwoman Julie Jacobson.

Only two of nine council seats were undetermined heading into yesterday's nonpartisan balloting. The other seven races were either uncontested or decided in the September primary.

Already elected to the Hawai‘i County Council are Fred Holschuh in the 1st District (Hamakua Coast); Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd in the 2nd District (Hilo, Kaumana); James Arakaki in the 3rd District (Waiakea, Kea‘au); Aaron Chung in the 4th District (Hilo, Keaukaha); Gary Safarik in the 5th District (Lower Puna); Joe Reynolds in the 7th District (Keauhou, Kealakekua); and Curtis Tyler III in the 8th District (Kailua, North Kona).

In the 9th Council District, comprising North and South Kohala, Elarionoff was challenged by Deputy Sheriff Eddie Akana, whom he had beaten in two prior elections. In the 6th Council District of Upper Puna, Ka'u and South Kona, Jacobson was banking on the area’s strong Green Party support to overcome coffee farmer Brenda Domondon.

Veteran council members said regardless of the outcome of the two races, they expect little change in leadership, with Arakaki returning as chairman. Chung of Hilo will serve as finance chairman and Leithead-Todd is expected to resume her duties as planning chairwoman.

The only change might be the post of vice chair, now held by Tyler. Council members said he is likely to be replaced by Reynolds or Elarionoff, if elected.

"We won’t be anxious to reorganize in any hurry," Leithead-Todd said.

Elarionoff, 63, a native of Ka‘u and a retired police captain, handily outpolled Akana, 55, in the primary and was expected to win re-election.

Bob Jacobson, 49, topped a four-candidate field in the primary for the 6th Council District, which has backed Greens before. But he beat Domondon, 55, by only 266 votes. That left up for grabs nearly 950 ballots that had been cast in the primary for the other candidates or left blank.