Blangiardi vs. Amemiya In City Mayor Race; Kim Rejected On Big Island

Aug 8, 2020

Update: 8/9/2020, 11:50 a.m.

After a strong mail-in turnout reversing years of low participation, Saturday's primary election results show former TV executive Rick Blangiardi headed to a general election runoff in the Honolulu mayor's race against Keith Amemiya, the one-time high school sports association head. On Hawaii Island, incumbent Mayor Harry Kim lost to challengers Mitch Roth and Ikaika Marzo who move on to the runoff in November.

In several key races, voters opted for candidates with little or no political experience, their message of fresh faces and new approaches resonating louder than the advantage of experience and "hitting the ground running." But money played a major role: TV spending to raise name recognition took on more importance as the COVID-19 pandemic made person-to-person campaigning next to impossible for many candidates. 

Hawaii's first all-mail in ballot election resulted in a strong turnout, reversing dismal participation in recent years which had ranked the state among the worst in the country. With 795,248 voters registered for this year's primary, statewide turnout came in at an impressive 51.1% based on the unofficial final printout issued this morning. That is the best primary showing since 1996, when participation reached 51.8%.

The 2020 election featured major races at all levels of government, among them: U.S. congressional seats, Honolulu and Hawaii Island mayoral and prosecutor attorney contests, all of the state House seats and about half of those for the state Senate. City and county council offices were also at stake.

Here are the preliminary results for major candidates in top local races:

U.S. Congressional 

District 1

--Ed Case (incumbent Democrat, uncontested): 131,552, 85.9%%

--Ron Curtis (GOP): 13,873, 34.1%

--James Dickens (GOP): 7,102, 17.5%

--Nancy Lynn Olson (GOP): 6,647, 16.3%

District 2

--Kai Kahele (Democrat): 100,735, 65.9%

--Brian Evans (Democrat): 12,321, 8.1%

--Brenda Machado Lee (Democrat): 10,677, 7.0%

--Noelle Famera (Democrat), 7,980, 5.2%

--Joe Akana (GOP), 15,075, 39.2%

--Elise Hatsuko Kaneshiro (GOP): 5,291, 13.8%

--David Hamman (GOP): 3,426, 8.9%

Honolulu Mayor (nonpartisan; over 50% wins outright, otherwise top 2 advance to general)

--Rick Blangiardi: 69,510, 25.3%

--Keith Amemiya: 55,002, 20.0%

--Colleen Hanabusa: 50,120, 18.2%

--Kym Pine: 40,008, 14.5%

--Mufi Hannemann: 26,975, 9.8%

--Stonebraker, William (Bud): 17,710, 6.4%

--Choon James: 5,520, 2.0%

Honolulu Prosecutor (nonpartisan; over 50% of vote for outright win, otherwise top two move on to general election)

--Steve Alm: 96,289, 35.0%

--Megan Kau: 58,257 21.2%

--Jacquie Esser: 46,898, 17.0%

--Dwight Nadamoto: 15,775, 5.7%

--Robert (RJ) Brown: 1,467, 4.5%

--Tae Kim: 8,786, 3.2%

Hawaii Island Mayor  (nonpartisan; over 50% of vote for outright win, otherwise top two move on to general election)

--Mitch Roth: 20,225, 31.1%

--Ikaika Marzo, 13,764, 21.1%

--Harry Kim (incumbent): 9,988, 15.4%

--Neil A. Azevedo: 7,274, 11.2%

--Stacy Higa: 5,921, 9.1%

Hawaii Island Prosecutor (nonpartisan; over 50% of vote for outright win, otherwise top two move on to general election)

--Kelden Braun Akoni Waltjen: 27,069, 41.6%

--Jared Kamakakulani Auna: 15,024, 23.1%

--Christopher Bridges: 10,583, 16.3%

Other races worth noting

State House District 13

--Lynne DeCoite (incumbent): 3,243, 48.2%

--Walter Ritte: 3,152, 46.9%

State House District 22

--Adrian Tam (Democrat): 1,956, 45.6%

--Tom Brower (incumbent Democrat): 1,813, 42.2%

--Nicholas Ochs (GOP): 561, 46.5%

State House District 26

--Scott Saiki (incumbent, House speaker): 3,225, 47.2%

--Kim Coco Iwamoto: 2,986, 43.7%