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Tamayo, Chang top opponents


In Honolulu City Council races, Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo pulled out a sizable victory in District 6, and Stanley Chang topped his opponent in District 4.

The 2nd District race was a squeaker, with Ernie Martin leading John White by 112 votes as of 11 p.m.

Chang ran against fellow Harvard graduate and lawyer Richard Turbin, winning 17,034 votes to Turbin’s 15,217. The 4th District seat represents Waikiki and the coastline to Makapuu Point.

Turbin, 65, is a former president of the Hawaii State Bar Association. Chang, 28, most recently was a real estate lawyer.

Youthful enthusiasm and new ideas seem to have resonated with voters.

"I’ve canvassed over 19,000 homes in the district, and what I heard over and over and over again was that residents really wanted a fresh start, fresh ideas, in addition to a fresh energy," Chang said. "They wanted improved roads, sewers and water mains. They wanted the city to spend wisely so it can spend less."

Tamayo, 29, won out over Sesnita Moepono, 60, in the 6th District, which includes downtown Honolulu, Liliha, Kalihi Valley and a portion of Kalihi.

Tamayo, a first lieutenant in the Hawaii Army National Guard, was 21 in 2002 when she became the youngest legislator ever elected to the state House.

The daughter of state Sen. Mike Gabbard and former Board of Education member Carol Gabbard, Tamayo pointed to her "real-world experience" in many different areas, combined with the "freshness" she said voters are looking for on the Council.

She echoed Chang’s thoughts on voters picking candidates with new ideas.

"It’s been an amazing campaign, and (yesterday was) just a wonderful day to close out," Tamayo said. "I was sign-waving at each of the precincts. I worked my way through the entire district, ending in Kalihi Valley. We had over 30 sign-wavers there."

In District 2, White and Martin traded the lead, with White leading early and Martin pulling slightly ahead in later returns.

The third printout gave Martin the edge over White.

Martin, 50, is an attorney and has worked for the city for 23 years, most recently as acting director of community services, a job that pays $112,000. A City Council member receives about $52,000, he said.

Martin said his platform is built on preserving open space, and constituents have told him to fix basic services in the district, including keeping restrooms clean at parks, having the rubbish emptied and improving the roads.

District 2 is the biggest and most agricultural of Oahu’s nine Council districts and includes Mililani Mauka, the North Shore and parts of Windward Oahu down to Heeia.

Four new members will be on the nine-person Honolulu City Council come January, and a fifth will be added with Chairman Todd Apo’s impending resignation.

Former Board of Education member Breene Harimoto ran unopposed in the primary election for the District 8 seat, which includes Aiea, Pearl City and Waipio Gentry.

The Council newcomers will have to perform yeoman’s duty to balance financial realities with citizen needs.

The city’s $5.5 billion planned rail transit project, meanwhile, is undergoing a state review to determine the financial "reasonableness" of the city’s plans to fund the largest, most expensive public works project ever undertaken in Hawaii.


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