Voters on Niʻihau were unanimous in their support for electing President Donald Trump to a second term. All 43 votes cast in Kauaʻi District 16 – Precinct 06 went to the Trump/Pence ticket with zero votes cast for Biden/Harris.
Interestingly, Niʻihau voters also selected former Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr as their top choice for the Kauaʻi County Council.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won every other precinct on Kauaʻi, with the final county-wide outcome 62.3% or 21,217 votes for Biden/Harris versus, 34.0% or 11,579 votes for Trump/Pence.
The #1 choice among all Kauaʻi voters for County Council, was Mason Chock.
The final ranking for the Kauaʻi County Council:
Mason K. Chock 18,592
Luke A. Evslin 17,368
Arryl Kaneshiro 16,550
Bernard Carvalho Jr. 16,345
Billy DeCosta 14,516
Felicia Cowden 14,388
KipuKai Kualii 13,960
Out of the running at #8 was Addison Bulosan with 11,735 votes, which while definitely a respectable showing, was over 2,000 votes shy of the coveted #7 slot. As is quite often the case, those candidates who finished in the top 7 during the primary election, also went on to win in the general.
It looks like the selection of the Council Chair may already be a done deal. While the selection of the next Council Chair officially occurs during the first formal meeting of the new Council on December 1, a recent news report indicates the decision has at least tentatively, already been made.
Interesting but not unusual that it appears the votes have all been lined by before the Council meeting, and before the public has had an opportunity to weigh in on the matter.
According to the report, the present Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro and Councilmember Mason Chock are both seeking the Chairmanship, and apparently, Kaneshiro has secured commitments for the four votes needed, his own vote plus three additional votes.
The Council has scheduled a meeting to discuss the election of the Chair and other matters for TODAY at 9am Wednesday, November 18th. Testimony may be submitted to email@example.com A complete agenda is here: https://www.kauai.gov/Portals/0/Council/Agenda/council/2020-11-18_Council-ElectAgenda.pdf?ver=2020-11-12-160849-967
Councilmember Chock has for many years been without question “the people’s choice” consistently gaining more votes island-wide than any other Councilmember. He is a trained facilitator, a small business owner, and a certified leadership trainer.
The present Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro is an executive with Grove Farm Land Company, who is arguably the most influential land-owner in Kauai County. Kaneshiro has pledged to refrain from voting on any matter before the Council that directly impacts his employer.
One example of their different perspectives would be Bill 2775. Councilmember Chock was a sponsor of Bill 2775 banning the use and sale of polystyrene food and drink containers. Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro opposed the measure and along with Councilmember Kagawa voted “no.” The measure ultimately passed into law with a 4 to 2 vote, making Kauaʻi the very last County in the state to pass such a ban.
The bottom line as to who ultimately becomes the Council Chair is whoever can get four votes. Word on the street has it that the initial vote count was equally divided with Kaneshiro and Chock both having 3 votes (including their own). Incoming Councilmember Billy DeCosta is now apparently positioned as the “swing vote” that effectively decides which of the two will be the next Chair of the Council.
If the news report is accurate, DeCosta has apparently decided to throw his support to Kaneshiro and block Chock’s quest to lead the Council.
The ink on the 2020 campaign brochure is barely dry, and yet upon this crucial first vote of the Council, the 2022 campaign begins. Welcome to politics, elections, and long memories.
Years ago, at the conclusion of one of my own long and hard-fought campaigns, I said to my young daughter who was about 12 years old at the time, “Kelli-Rose, aren’t you glad that the campaign is over?” Without missing a beat she responded, “Are you kidding Dad? It’s never over.”