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Berg and Pine go on to general in City Council race

By Mary Vorsino

LAST UPDATED: 4:35 p.m. HST, Oct 23, 2012

Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg was hoping to fight off a crowded field of challengers to hang onto his seat in the primary election, but was behind state Rep. Kymberly Marcos Pine.

The two will face-off in the general election in November.

Meanwhile, three City Council seats were decided outright in today’s nonpartisan primary election voting.

Incumbent Ikaika Anderson, whose City Council seat covers Waimanalo, Kailua and Kaneohe, easily clinched more than half of the vote to avoid a run-off.

Also elected outright were state Rep. Joey Manahan for the District 7 seat, which spans Kalihi to Hickam Air Force Base, and veteran legislator and attorney Ron Menor for the District 9 seat, representing Mililani, Kunia and a portion of Ewa Beach.

Throughout the evening, Berg trailed Pine but was ahead of former legislator Alex Santiago, former Teamsters union leader Mel Kahele and first-time candidate E.J. Delacruz.

The District 1 seat includes the Leeward Coast, Kapolei and parts of Ewa Beach.

Going into the primary election, Berg said he was optimistic, but acknowledged that it would be a tough race.

“I think, unfortunately, the candidate with the most money to sway the voters has the best chance,” he said.

The former legislative aide and tea party activist has garnered attention — some negative — in recent months for his outspoken and at times confrontational style.

Berg also is a staunch opponent of the $5.26 billion rail project, while challengers Santiago and Pine support it.

In all, five seats were up for grabs on the Council this election cycle, four of which were contested in the primary election because they had more than two candidates in each race. 

In District 7, Manahan was able to get more than 50 percent of the vote against newcomer Martin Han.

The district, which includes Kalihi, Salt Lake and Hickam Air Force Base, has no incumbent because City Councilman Romy Cachola has reached his two-term limit.

There is also no incumbent in the race for the District 9 seat, which represents Mililani, Kunia and a portion of Ewa Beach. Councilman Nestor Garcia has held the seat since 2002, and has reached his two-term limit.

Menor was able to win outright for the District 9 spot. Sy Cullen, a teacher at St. Joseph School, was in a distant second.

Also in the running for the seat were Dr. Inam Rahman and Vai Sua, president of a Waipahu security company.

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