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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, September 30, 2006

Re-count called for on Kaua'i

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

John Hoff

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Janee Marie Taylor

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LIHU'E, Kaua'i John Hoff, who placed third in the Kaua'i mayoral primary, and Janee Marie Taylor, who placed fifth, yesterday afternoon filed challenges to the election with the Hawai'i Supreme Court.

Both are asking for a re-count of the mayor's race. Mayor Bryan Baptiste was re-elected outright when he received one vote more than a simple majority of the votes cast.

Hoff said he believes the results might be different if the votes were counted again.

"I'm doing it to preserve the dignity of our system," Hoff said.

Taylor said she believes "doubt and suspicion" arose from the election, and that she will base her appeal on the state's Aloha Spirit law, which states government officials may consider the Aloha Spirit when performing their duties.

Second-place mayoral candidate Jesse Fukushima said yesterday morning that he had considered a challenge but chose not to file, largely to avoid becoming involved in a complex legal process.

Fukushima is the only candidate who would directly benefit from a re-count. If other candidates were to gain two or more votes, or if Baptiste were to lose two or more votes in a re-count, the mayor's race would go on to a runoff between the top two candidates Baptiste and Fukushima in the general election.

Two other challenges were filed with the high court by the 4:30 p.m. deadline yesterday.

One was by nonpartisan gubernatorial candidate, Daniel Cunningham, who received 90 votes, the most of the three nonpartisan candidates. Under Hawai'i law, the nonpartisan winner doesn't advance to the general election unless the candidate receives 10 percent of the vote for that race or at least as many votes as the lowest partisan candidate. Cunningham said nonpartisans should be treated like party candidates, and he should be on the general election ballot.

Rex Saunders, a Democratic candidate for the House 23rd District covering Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kaka'ako, received 540 votes, finishing behind Tom Brower, who received 1,262 votes to advance to the general election. Saunders asked to be on the general election ballot.

Staff writer Ken Kobayashi contributed to this report.

Reach Jan TenBruggencate at jant@honoluluadvertiser.com.