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Trump impeached, Kagawa eyes House, open council seats

Happy New Year!

2020 is going to be a great year in policy and politics, of that I am sure. On a national and international scale, things can certainly not get much worse. The recent impeachment of President Trump represents a positive turning point for the planet, and soon I hope we will be able to say good riddance to the worst president ever. While it seems unlikely that the Republican majority in the Senate will muster the courage to vote him out, I am hopeful that the majority of Americans will do so — regardless of who the Democratic Party nominee is.

It is really crazy when you think about it. Our president is a self-absorbed, deranged and dangerous man — and everyone knows it. Every day on a global stage he demonstrates his unstableness and unsuitability for the office of president, reinforcing a whole new definition of “the ugly American.” Every day the world laughs at him and at us. Every day more people die along our borders and in countries near and far. Because of his actions and inactions, the world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday.

The elections of 2020 cannot come soon enough.

On a local county level, the 2020 elections will also see changes, of that there is no doubt. The good news is that at least two sitting members of the council, Councilmember Brun and Councilmember Kagawa will not be coming back. Kagawa is “termed out” and unable to run for re-election and Brun has to deal with his felony indictment. My guess is that it is highly unlikely that he would run for re-election — but of course you never know.

All seven seats on the Kauai County Council are up for reelection. However with the absence of two incumbent members, the dynamics are such that new candidates seeking to break into council service have a significantly better chance of being elected in 2020.

Rumor has it, however, that former Councilmember and former Mayor JoAnn Yukimura and former Councilmember and former mayoral candidate Mel Rapozo are waiting in the wings. If either or both of these “formers” should decide to run, that would likely put a dampener on the aspirations of new candidates hoping to fill one of the so-called “open” seats.

The other persistent rumor (and yes, it is fun to speculate), is that Councilmember Kagawa is on the hunt and looking for a place to land in 2020. Though he has not publicly announced his intentions, Kagawa’s campaign spending report (effective Oct. 15, 2019) indicate he will be running against incumbent Daynette “Dee” Morikawa.

Campaign Spending Reports — June 30, 2019

Bank balance, available funds, campaign chair and office sought

Ross Kagawa

$10,438

Chair – Warren Koga

Office sought – House #16

*Note – While the “office sought” indicates District #16, the campaigns address and the public address of CM Kagawa indicate he resides in District #15. Ultimately, the candidate must reside in the district in which he/she is elected and so either CM Kagawa has recently moved or will be moving into District #16, or switching his race to District #15

Arthur Brun

$ 7,211

Chair – Ron Sakoda

Office sought – Council

Arryl Kaneshiro*

$51,409

Chair – Dalton Matsuyama

Office sought – Council (incumbent)

Luke Evslin*

-$701.36 (minus)

Chair -Michael Miranda

Office sought – Council (incumbent)

KipuKai Kualii*

$17,261

Chair – Joseph Carrillo

Office sought – Council (incumbent)

Mason Chock*

$2,730

Chair – Lorna Cummings-Poe

Office sought – Council (incumbent)

Felicia Cowden*

-$2,649 (minus)

Chair – Patricia Wistinghausen

Office sought – Council (incumbent)

JoAnn Yukimura

$5,691

Chair – Gerald Hirata

Office sought – Council

Melvin Rapozo

-$3,351.29 (minus)

Chair – Kaleo Perez

Office sought – Council

Nadine Nakamura*

$46,966.

Chair – Bernadette Sakoda

Office sought – House #14 (incumbent)

James Tokioka*

$23,296

Chair – Dan Mackey

Office sought – House #15 (incumbent)

Daynette “Dee” Morikawa*

$15,853

Chair – Brycen Hiraoka

Office sought – House #16 (incumbent)

Ronald Kouchi*

$172,752

Chair – Scott Kouchi

Office sought – Senate #8 (incumbent)

NOTE: The next Campaign Spending Reports are due to be published and available to the public on Jan. 31, 2020 for the period ending Dec. 31, 2019.

•••

Gary Hooser formerly served in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kauai County Council and was former director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. He serves presently in a volunteer capacity as board president of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) and is executive director of the Pono Hawaii Initiative.
Source: The Garden Island

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