Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
Two Garden Island political heavyweights, County Council Chairman Mel Rapozo and Councilman Derek Kawakami, are in the final weeks of campaigning to succeed termed-out Mayor Bernard Carvalho as chief executive of Kaua‘i County, which also includes the privately owned island of Ni‘ihau. Voters will decide in the Nov. 6 general election.
Rapozo just barely made it into the run-off, netting 4,147 votes to Kawakami’s 9,073 in the primary election. It was enough, however, to prevent Kawakami from getting the 50 percent plus one vote he needed for an outright win.
Kawakami is likely to have a large advantage in the general election. He reports raising $156,757, while Rapozo has picked up just $16,203.
“Rapozo’s biggest task facing the primary election was to just make it to the general election,” said longtime Kaua‘i journalist/photographer Dennis Fujimoto. “Derek was going to win, but not by such a great margin,” Fujimoto added.