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VOICES: Here’s how you can become Kaua‘i’s mayor

Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of democracy. Elections give ‘we the people’ a voice in our government in the most fundamental way: by deciding who governs. Democracy is what our country, state, cities and counties base their elections on. I would be surprised if anybody likes to see a candidate run for a political office with little to no challenge.

The coconut wireless rumor control central office had heard Mayor Kawakami was running unopposed in the 2022 mayoral primary and general election? That has proven to be an untruth like so many of the coconut wireless scuttle bugs. The election bureau has informed me as of this writing Kawakami has challengers in the primary. However, there still needs to be more contenders to make this as competitive as possible. Nobody likes a blowout, besides maybe the winner.

I hope there are multiple people out there that will challenge Derek. Most of the major high-end big-name candidates won’t waste their time or money since they feel Kawakami is a slam dunk with his charismatic personality and cannot be beaten. I cannot argue that.

He may not be the most qualified person to ever run for Kaua‘i mayor, however, he is by far the most popular. We all know that in our tiny hamlet qualifications mean very little and name recognition is almost everything.

If you wish to file nomination papers for the job as Garden Island mayor you will need:

1. Fifteen valid signatures of registered voters on Kaua‘i;

2. To be at least 30 years old;

3. To have lived on Kauai for a minimum of three years;

4. The filing fee, technically $500. However, there is a discounted fee of $50, which most everybody pays as long as they agree to abide by the state’s voluntary campaign expenditure limits by submitting an affidavit to the Campaign Spending Commission prior to filing their nomination papers;

5. To meet the filing deadlne of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7.

You can find all the information and download nomination papers at

Derek will win a second term unless of course there is some sort of scandal that comes out of the closet and cancels him? The odds of that are almost zero.

Therefore I am pleading with the younger generation or anyone interested in starting a career in politics to challenge Mayor Kawakami. This can be a resume builder for the future. It may be vanity politics, but that’s how the game of politics is played.

Vanity politics is getting your name out there and establishing a platform. The news stations, newspapers and radio stations will cover what you stand for. You will establish yourself for future office.

You won’t defeat Derek. He has name recognition and the people love him. However, for the sake of democracy, let’s challenge our mayor with multiple candidates for mayor! Who knows, I just may jump into the mayor’s race myself.

Just imagine, Mayor James “Kimo” Rosen?

Talk about making America great again! (LOL)


James “Kimo” Rosen is a resident of Kapa‘a.
Source: The Garden Island

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