The Jury Talks Back


Hawaii Election Shenanigans – update

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 12:42 am

Awhile back, WLS posted about a wild finish at the filing deadline by candidates running for local offices in Hawaii.

Here’s the story in a nutshell: Honolulu City Council Member Ann Kobayashi surprised many by filing to run for Honolulu mayor just 2 1/2 hours before the filing deadline.  Kobayashi had tipped off former council member Duke Bainum, a losing 2004 mayoral candidate, the day before.  Bainum flew in from Arkansas, rented an apartment to establish residency, and filed for her seat – all in one day.  State Representative Kirk Caldwell also rushed to file for the vacated seat, relinquishing his powerful position as State House Majority Leader in the process.  Whereupon Chrysten Eads, an assistant to the current Honolulu mayor, raced to file her nomination papers for Caldwell’s vacated seat.  As WLS noted, “Keep in mind that these are ALL Democrats.”

In the frantic melee that followed, Eads was unable to submit her papers by 4:30.  After coaxing by a Democratic Party official, election workers allowed her to gather the necessary signatures and file an hour late.  Meanwhile, at 4:29pm Caldwell submitted 18 signatures, 4 of which were ruled ineligible.  Not to worry – an election worker agreed to sign his filing paper at 5:30pm.

Here’s the update: Eventually, elections officials ruled that both Caldwell and Eads were ineligible, because they failed to file on time.  That meant that Bainum would be running unopposed for city council.  However state law apparently allowed the Democrats to appoint another candidate to challenge the Republican candidate for Caldwell’s seat.

Well, the election results are in.  The incumbent mayor won reelection over Kobayashi.  The Democrat easily won Caldwell’s state house seat.  Bainum, unopposed, won the council seat with 57% of the vote; however due to an organized protest effort, 43% of the ballots were left blank.  Although Bainum has not yet taken office, opponents have vowed to organize a recall following a one-year waiting period.

The moral of the story: don’t wait until the last minute.


  1. Two words Seantor Inouye

    Comment by EricPWJohnson — 11/21/2008 @ 1:28 am

  2. Thank you for updating this story and for taking the time to organize and present it in a way that makes difficult facts easier to understand. Very well done.

    It strikes me that Alaska and Hawaii may be political opposites but they are mirror images when it comes to the problems of one-Party rule. I agree one lesson is “Don’t wait until the last minute” but to me the moral lesson is that American government at all levels needs vigorous political debate.

    Comment by DRJ — 11/21/2008 @ 4:52 pm

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