Fundraiser season is upon us

Along with the preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, the decorating of one’s house for the holiday season, and being sure that vacation time is put in for people, your elected government officials are also prepping for another type of season.

That is the start of the “fundraising season” for candidates up for election in the 2024 polls.

Since the start of November, 30 different fundraisers have been announced by candidates throughout the state, for a variety of offices ranging from Mayor of counties to legislative races – all focused on the House of Representatives, no Senators have announced fundraisers, yet.

As a general examination of all of the announcements that came out, a good group of them are fundraisers that are focused on obtaining high-dollar amounts. For this season, in other words, unless you are willing to pony up between high-3 and up-to-the-limit four-figures, these fundraisers are not for you.

The chili and rice $25 fundraisers will come soon enough.

Scott Nishimoto
PC: Ballotopedia

But for right now the candidates need to create their funding base to start buying things like signs, walking pamphlets, and in larger races, the hiring of staff, contracting with public relations folks, to manage the campaign and create messaging.

With that, there were a couple of “interesting developments” that will make specific races in ’24 interesting. The first one is in the Honolulu City Council, District 5, where current Representative Scott Nishimoto will be fundraising to win the Council seat next year. Nishimoto has been a fixture at the House of Representatives for over 20 years, representing the McCully/Moiliili and Waikiki areas (at times).

Now he looks like he is making a move to the City Council. As for the current District 5 occupant, former Senator Calvin Say, nothing has been announced by his office. So, stay tuned.

Mitch Roth
PC: “Mitch Headshot Updated 9.26.22” by Koaokalani is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The other race that popped out as a potential “interesting one” is the Mayor of Hawaii County. That seat, currently held by Mitch Roth, is being challenged by a gentleman named Dr. Kimo Alameda. Dr. Alameda has announced two fundraisers during this last month, and Roth one.

In the category of “they are working to get re-elected”, Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steven Alm has filed for a fundraiser for that office. The actions of his office in relation to the Honolulu Police and his prosecutorial activities may elicit a challenger, but to this humble political blogger, the race is Alm’s to lose.

Both political parties have also announced fundraisers. The more interesting one comes from the Democratic Party of Hawaii, which recently saw a leadership change, due in part of the last Chair’s actions on fundraising – which was none. They also seem to be trying to reconnect with the people with its event title, “Party 4 the People”.

That fundraiser happens in January.

If you are interested in seeing who is filing for fundraisers, and in turn find out who is running for what, the Campaign Spending Commission of Hawaii actively posts any new fundraisers on its “X” (formerly Twitter) page. Check it out here. But for your reference, here is a list of all the fundraisers that have been announced in November, who is the candidate and what they represent.

  • Gregg Takayama        House 34
  • Mitch Roth                   Mayor Hawaii County
  • Ken Inouye                  House 37
  • Linda Ichiyama            House 31
  • Jackson Sayama        House 21
  • Maui Cty. GOP            Maui County GOP fundraiser
  • Democrat Pty of HI     “Party 4 the People” fundraiser
  • Kimo Alameda             Mayor Hawaii County
  • Mark A. Clemente       House 46
  • Steve Alm                    Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney
  • Elijah Pierick               House 39
  • Scot Matayoshi           House 49
  • Jenna Takenouchi       House 27
  • Corey Chun                 House 35
  • Rachele Lambosao     House 36
  • Michah Aiu                  House 32
  • Andrew T. Garrett        House 22
  • Darius Kila                  House 44
  • Kristen Kealoha          House 6
  • Lauren Matsumoto      House 38
  • David Alcos                 House 41
  • Andrea Tupuola          Honolulu City Council Dist. 1
  • Lisa Kitagawa             House 48
  • Gene Ward                  House 18
  • Tommy Waters            Honolulu City Council Dist. 4
  • Scott Nishimoto           Honolulu City Council Dist. 5
  • Kimo Alameda             Mayor Hawaii County
  • Radiant Cordero         Honolulu City Council Dist. 7
  • Mitch Roth                   Mayor Hawaii County
  • Scott Saiki                   House 25