2020 Election Wrap-Up
Pono Hawaii Initiative Candidates Win Big!
See the complete list here – https://ponohawaiiinitiative.org/endorsements-2020
Maui – Clean Sweep
100% of endorsed candidates win!
Against the odds and over $300,000 in dark SuperPac money, 6 out of 6 Maui candidates that were endorsed by PHI were elected. This includes 5 members of the Maui County Council which constitutes a majority and thus ultimately drives the Maui County agenda priorities! State House of Representative Tina Wildberger had a resounding victory and will be returning to champion progressive issues, protect the environment, and support small businesses. A special mahalo to all who stepped up and made online contributions in support of Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez – your help made a difference. For a very comprehensive look at the Maui races including the Charter Amendment results and more please visit https://politicsonmaui.com/crunching-the-numbers-presidential-council-charter-amendment-results-from-maui-countys-2020-general-election/
Hawaii Island – Clean Sweep
100% of endorsed candidates win!
PHI endorsed only two candidates based in Hawaii County and both had solid wins. The extended ramifications mean that the Hawaii County Council will also have a progressive majority! In addition, a rising star in Hawaii politics, Jeanne Kapela, was elected to the House of Representatives District 5 – (Naalehu, Ocean View, Captain Cook, Kealakekua, and Kailua-Kona)
Kauai – 4 for 5
PHI endorsed 5 candidates for the Kauai County Council and while Michael Dandurand was not able to make it over the line, 4 others did. And yes, Dandurand is well-positioned now for 2022. Sideline: Niihau votes for Trump and Council Chair is up for grabs – https://www.thegardenisland.com/2020/11/18/opinion/trump-takes-niihau-kaneshiro-chock-battle-for-council-chair/
Oahu – 4 for 7
PHI endorsed 5 candidates for the House of Representatives, 3 of which were successful. Adrian Tam pulled off a huge win against an incumbent in the Primary and then went on to beat a member of the Proud Boys in the General. Matt LoPresti who has always been a strong progressive voice will be returning, and staunch environmental advocate newcomer Lisa Marten also had an impressive win. These three will join with other strong progressive Oahu Representatives such as newly elected Representative Sonny Ganaden and super-star community advocate Amy Perruso. We also endorsed two candidates for the Honolulu City Council. Esther Kiaʻāina made it across the finish line but unfortunately, former State Senator, friend, and colleague Will Espero fell short. Kudo’s to both of you for being willing to serve!
Statewide – it’s complicated
The three PHI endorsed OHA candidates unfortunately were not able to make it over the top. For Keoni Souza, it was a real nail-biter as he garnered 195,960 votes or 33.8%, versus Keli’i Akina who received 197,618 votes at 34.1%. Souza it would seem is well-positioned to run for something in 2022.
State Senator Kai Kahele was successful and will be the new Congressman for District 2, and of course, the Biden/Harris ticket will bring in a new day for America as they show the Trump/Pence team to the door on Inauguration Day, January 20th.
In closing – the 2022 election cycle begins now. If you are interested in being involved either as a candidate running for office or as a campaign team member, please let me know at GaryLHooser@gmail.com It is not too early, and if you believe as I do that our elected officials must always put people and the planet first – I would love to connect with you.
A hui hou,