The upcoming Special Election for the Honolulu City Council District 4 seat has not been scheduled. But the candidates aren’t waiting to go back on the campaign trail.
The Hawai’i Supreme Court ruled that a new election for the Honolulu City Council District 4 seat must be conducted in 120 days. Both candidates say they intend to start campaigning immediately. Incumbent, Trevor Ozawa.
“We’re thankful for having the opportunity to server over the last 4 years and I have been a vocal leader in the Council and we want to continue to be there so that we can bring positive change at a City that seems to be unraveling at the moment due to questions of integrity, insider political actions. And, that’s why I’m fighting to get re-elected for the 3rd time.”
Challenger Tommy Waters.
“You know, I walked door-to-door for 11 months and I knocked on over 12-thousand doors during my campaign and that worked. We did coffee hours and I hope to do the same thing. I’m gonna start walking and keep walking until they tell me not to, meaning the election happens.”
The State Office of Elections and the Honolulu City Clerk…are working on the specifics of how that Special Election will be conducted to include timelines and dates. Waters, who prevailed before the Supreme Court, says that ruling was just.
“I’m so happy that the Supreme Court took a closer look at our electoral process. I really believe that elections are the cornerstone of Democracy. You gotta make sure you get this right. You gotta make sure the rules are followed because that is always fair to everybody. The reason why there are rules is so that you can limit mistakes or fraud. So the Supreme Court, I think, did the right thing.”
Ozawa would like to challenge the ruling but that option appears pointless given the 4-month Special Election deadline.
“This most public and most vulnerable way that I’ve had to go through with regard to this Supreme Court. This unprecedented ruling. You know, this never happened and I think that this happened for a reason so that we can go ahead and highlight the fact that now more than ever, the City and County of Honolulu needs to shift gears – let’s pivot – toward a new step in the right direction.”
There are 67-thousand registered voters in Honolulu City Council District 4, stretching from Hawai’i Kai, through Kaimuki, to Waikiki and Ala Moana Beach Park. But, only 55 percent of District 4 voters --less than 37,000 -- cast ballots for the two candidates. Ozawa and Waters will be chasing those votes and working against the clock.
(Ozawa) “Every obstacle that’s thrown in our way, we’ll welcome as a challenge and show, without resistance, you don’t get stronger. And so we’re gonna get stronger and we’re gonna show that we can do it and we can win again”
(Waters) “I’m sure gonna work hard and try. But, it’s gonna be close again. I think the community is split down the middle and divided. How can it now be close. Oh my goodness.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.