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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Monday, September 20, 2004

Mayor race splits O'ahu

 •  Chart: How Oah'u voted in the race for Honolulu mayor
 •  Chart: Voter turnout hits record low
 •  Glitches caused by human errors
 •  Debate tonight for District 12

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

Returns from Saturday's voting for Honolulu mayor showed Duke Bainum led Mufi Hannemann in the affluent areas of East Honolulu and Windward O'ahu while Hannemann was more popular in blue-collar areas like Leeward O'ahu and the 'Aiea-Pearl City region that he calls home base.

Gov. Linda Lingle talks with Rep. Barbara Marumoto and Sen. Gordon Trimble at the Republican Party's post-primary breakfast.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

Bainum finished almost 6,000 votes ahead of Hannemann by winning more votes in 20 of O'ahu's state House districts. Hannemann led in 15 districts.

As the two advance to a Nov. 2 showdown, the numbers show where each is strongest — and where they need to work harder.

Bainum got 58 percent of the votes in the 23rd District (Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kaka'ako) and 55 percent in the 21st District (Kapahulu, Diamond Head). Hannemann got 56 percent of the votes in the 44th District (Nanakuli, Honokai Hale) and 53 percent in the 36th District (Pearl City, Palisades).

Turnout in East Honolulu historically is higher than in Leeward O'ahu, suggesting that Hannemann needs to put more effort into getting his supporters in his stronghold areas to vote.

Mufi Hannemann and his wife, Gail, talked politics with U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie at yesterday's Democratic Party breakfast.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

Both candidates want the support of those who voted for former Mayor Frank Fasi, who was eliminated from the competition when he finished third. A quick review of the numbers suggests that the advantage may be with Hannemann. In the districts where Fasi was strongest, more of the other voters leaned toward Hannemann, suggesting that Fasi voters may be more inclined to vote for him over Bainum.

Examples include the 44th District (Nanakuli, Honokai Hale) where Fasi drew 15.6 percent of the vote and the 45th District (Wai'anae, Makaha) where Fasi got 16 percent.

Hannemann said he believes he has more in common with Fasi because, like the man who was mayor for 22 years, he appeals to blue-collar workers and "gets the job done."

Bainum, however, said of Fasi voters: "They should come to me because I represent a real chance for change and someone who will look out for their interests."

Both candidates also differ on who has the momentum coming out of the primary.

"We beat him; we got more votes than him," Bainum said. "Last week, he appeared to be calling that he could win it all but he didn't win the primary. So, to me, momentum is indicated by the ballot box."

Bainum said momentum for his campaign started two weeks ago with an endorsement by the editorial board of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Hannemann said polls showed him as far back of Bainum as 10 percentage points or more. "For us to come within three points shows that momentum is on our side," he said.

Hannemann said momentum for his campaign started two weeks ago with an endorsement by the editorial board of The Honolulu Advertiser.

At a unity breakfast held by the Democratic Party, elected officials and hopefuls discussed the Saturday night defeats of incumbent senators Melodie Aduja and Cal Kawamoto, two key political supporters of Senate President Robert Bunda.

Clayton Hee, the Democrat who defeated Aduja, must now face Republican Jim Henshaw in the general election.

But Clarence Nishihara, who won Saturday night's biggest upset when he defeated fellow Democrat Kawamoto, will have a free ride in the general since no Republican signed up for the race. Nishihara said yesterday that he has already been approached by several of his new colleagues "for coffee or a meal."

Another hot topic at both the Democratic gathering and at a Republican brunch a few hours later, was the fact that only one of three Board of Education candidates endorsed by GOP Gov. Linda Lingle made it into the final field of six on O'ahu. Those six will compete for the three at-large seats on O'ahu.

A fourth candidate endorsed by Lingle for the Big Island Board of Education seat was also eliminated.

Lingle has tried unsuccessfully the past two sessions to persuade the Democratic Legislature to send to voters a constitutional amendment breaking up the school board into several local panels.

Name recognition and experience, however, appeared to make the difference for voters in the board races. Former U.S. congressman Cec Heftel, board member Garrett Toguchi and former state lawmaker Lei Ahu Isa were the top vote-getters for the three O'ahu at-large seats. Financier Robert Midkiff, Hawaiian cultural consultant Guy Kaulukukui and attorney Darwin Ching also moved on to the general election in November.

Ching was the only candidate endorsed by Lingle to advance. Retired police lieutenant Shad Kane, another Lingle pick, will face board chairman Breene Harimoto for the Leeward seat, which did not require a primary.

"The word on the slate didn't really get out in the primary," Ching said on election night.

Advertiser Capitol Bureau reporter Derrick DePledge contributed to this story. Reach Gordon Y.K. Pang at gpang@honoluluadvertiser.com or at 525-8070.