Lanai Council won by Hokama, but Lanai residents cast votes for challenger

November 4, 2010, 9:34 AM HST · Updated November 10, 6:59 AM
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By Wendy Osher

On the island of Lanai, former councilman Riki Hokama reclaimed his seat, winning 35 out of 39 precincts.  But the district where he resides, voted in favor of his challenger, Matt Mano, who earned 335 votes, or 58.7 percent of the vote on the island—110 more than Hokama.

Riki Hokama reclaims his old seat as the Lanai County Councilmember, but Lanai residents vote for his opponent. File Photo courtesy County of Maui.

Hokama dominated in a majority of the precincts and while Mano was ahead on Lanai, the mail in and absentee votes for the district that includes Lanai came out in Hokama’s favor.

The three other precincts that voted in favor of Mano were Keanae (22 to 20), and Kamalii (474 to 437) and the Lahaina Civic Center (292 to 278).

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Hokama earned the best percentage at Lihikai Elementary School in Kahului where 500 people cast votes in his favor or 65.8%, that’s 334 votes more than his opponent.

The same disparity occurred in the 2008 election in which Lanai Councilman Sol Kahoohalahala won the overall vote count, but failed to win the Lanai precinct where 61 percent of the voters favored challenger John Ornellas.  Kahoohalahala will conclude his 2-year term this year after making an unsuccessful run for Mayor, being eliminated from the race during the November primary where he finished fifth behind Tavares, Arakawa, Piltz and Hart.

Hokama returns to the council after a two year break that started in 2008 when he reached his term limit.  Prior to that, he served on the council for 10 years or 5 terms—the maximum consecutive amount allowed under law.

The final tally was Hokama with 20,842 votes or 49.3% of the vote compared to Mano who had 12,356 votes or 29.2% of the vote.  There were 9,087 blank votes and 12 over votes in the race to represent Lanai.

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