Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who leads all mayoral candidates in fundraising, picked up an additional $68,000 over the past two weeks as he makes a final push to defeat former Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, who began the race with a sizable lead in polls over all contenders.
University of Hawaii civil engineering professor Panos Prevedouros — boosted by $29,000 in added funds — is aiming for an upset, while City Councilman Rod Tam also has a packed day of events to get his name out heading into tomorrow’s winner-take-all special election.
The mayor’s race will be decided tomorrow, with the winner filling the last two years of the term vacated by Mufi Hannemann.
Caldwell, Hannemann’s handpicked managing director, who ascended to acting mayor upon Hannemann’s resignation, has surpassed $958,000 for the campaign, according to reports filed this week with the state Campaign Spending Commission.
He still had a ways to go to catch up to Carlisle, who led 49 percent to 25 percent in a Star-Advertiser/Hawaii News Now poll conducted last month.
"As I said when I became the acting mayor, I said I’m going to be in one big job interview," Caldwell said yesterday. "By doing the job the people expect me to do, I think that’s the best way to run to be the next elected mayor of Honolulu."
Carlisle said he plans a "caravan around the island" today as he works to hold on to a lead that his opponents say has shrunk in recent weeks.
"Unfortunately, negative campaigning seems to have that effect," he said, referring to an ad by Caldwell that questioned spending in the prosecutor’s office under Carlisle’s lead.
"I hope that that’s been adequately addressed and I hope people will see, not the television ads of the last few weeks, but more of my career as a prosecutor and that what was said about me negatively doesn’t seem to jibe with what occurred during my 14 years as the prosecutor."
Carlisle has raised $518,000 in the race, including $17,100 over the past two weeks.
Prevedouros has seen a surge over the past 10 days, reporting $29,000 in late contributions.
"Unfortunately, it came a little late," he said, noting one television station was already booked solid with campaign ads. "So even if I paid something exorbitant, they still cannot feed it.
"As much as our money allowed, we have saturated television and radio," he added.
Prevedouros, who finished third in the 2008 mayoral primary with 17 percent of the vote, is shooting for an upset. Backed by the state Republican Party in the nonpartisan race, Prevedouros has raised $166,000.
"I think we’re going to come very close and we may be able to do a surprise here," he said. "We feel very good about it."
Tam’s spending report for late contributions had not yet been posted yesterday. As of Sept. 3, he had raised $23,000 and had $6,100 in cash left on hand.
He spent yesterday canvassing parts of downtown and Chinatown.
"Everyone seems buoyant," said campaign volunteer Bill Souza. "We have our supporters out and we’re all sign-waving. Our spirits have been up."