Interesting tidbits a pol watcher finds

This week (June 7th, 2022 to be precise) the state of Hawaii voters found out for the first time what the primary election ballots will look like. From the county council, all the way to the governor, the dance cards of who was going up against who, in each of the parties, emerged.

And with that, for a pol watcher like this humble blogger, this development created a bunch of storylines that are not necessarily known to the average voter. Although some will go to the Civil Beat section where they list out the contests and the competitors, there were even some developments that still raised an eyebrow, or two.

Here are some of the storylines that this blogger sees coming out, so far, for the Hawaii Primary 2022,

  • Game recognizes game: Civil Beat, the online newspaper, and media of record in Hawaii took no time to come out with a comprehensive package of information for the voter to gnaw on for this election cycle. From listing out the ballots, where one can look for their respective race, to a “Hawaii Civics 101” section, Civil Beat is upping their game.  Being that they are nonprofit, they will work hard not to tell you what to think. And that is where you as the voter can exercise that “discernment muscle” in your analysis.
  • This is now the time for the campaign manager to shine: Unless you are egotistical enough to be your campaign manager, every campaign has one person that organizes everything, directs the troops to duties, and gets the candidate out as much as possible, in the most positive light possible. As of Wednesday, the 8th, the quality of that person’s plans, and execution of actions will become the key to victory, or defeat, for the aspiring candidate. One thing that will become apparent in the weeks to come is whether the manager is “in it to win it” or not, based on the performance of their candidate. Only time will tell with that.
  • Every event is now a big deal: With the resumption of large-scale gatherings in Hawaii, every event going on will have a political bent. From the Chinatown Lions installation in June to the Filipino Fiesta that happened earlier in May, these events are main attractions for every candidate running for office, knowing full well that every event will have voters mulling about it. So for those going to Obon dances this year, keep in mind that you’ll not be only eating the food, buying the hachimaki (鉢巻) or hapi coat, but you’ll be gripping in your hand campaign literature that will be handed out at each of these events. So, this humble blogger would encourage you (safely) to attend, because you might get some face-to-face time with some of these candidates.
Expect to see the celebration, dancing, and a bunch of political candidates at your next Obon dance.
PC: Stan Fichtman, Haleiwa Obon Dance, 2010
  • Finally, some interesting things seen on the ballot: With the ballots out, a few notes about what one will see (and not see) on them.
    • For the first time, in a long time, you won’t see the following names on any ballot: Mufi Hannemann, Colleen Hanabusa, Charles Djou (well, he hasn’t run for a while, but still), or Kirk Caldwell.
    • But you will see a Tsuniyoshi and a Cachola. You will see two Tsuniyoshi’s – Heidi running for Governor as a Republican, and her ex-husband, Chad, running for her old Honolulu City Council seat. For Cachola, yes, Romy is trying again to get back in, this time running against incumbent Sonny Ganaden in State House District 30.
    • For Kauai, Mel Rapozo is asking to be dealt back in. Rapozo, who has become a name on social media with his “FB Live with Mel and Charlie” is looking to re-enter elected politics through the Kauai Council. No predictions but it don’t hurt to be a go-to source of information during the pandemic, which his show became. After all, we have Josh Green assuming his participation in that will move him from Lt. Governor to Governor.
    • And for these lucky buggers, the campaign is over. With the deadline to file passed, these candidates will be given a free pass to serve another four years without lifting a finger to the campaign. They face no primary opposition in their party or a Republican/third party challenger in the general.
      • Dru Kanuha, Senate District 3
      • Gil Keith-Agaran, Senate District 5
      • Kurt Favella, Senate District 20
      • Mark Nakashima, House District 1
      • Richard Onishi, House District 2
      • Nicole Lowen, House District 7
      • Troy Hashimoto, House District 10
      • Gene Ward, House District 18
      • Scott Nishimoto, House District 23
      • Linda Ichiyama, House District 31
      • Rebecca Villegas, Hawaii County Council District 7