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3 Hawaii recounts reaffirm victories in House, Kauai County Council races

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                                Lynn DeCoite


    Lynn DeCoite

                                Walter Ritte


    Walter Ritte

An automatic recount of three close-finish races from Saturday’s primary election have reaffirmed the victories of the initial tallies.

A recount of the votes in the Democratic primary race between Rep. Lynn De­Coite and challenger Walter Ritte for the state House District 13 seat gave the victory to incumbent, according to results posted by the state Office of Elections this morning.

The recount shows DeCoite with 3,244 votes and Ritte with 3,151.

In the original tally from the “final” printout posted late Sunday morning, DeCoite finished with 3,243 votes, or 48.2%, to Ritte’s 3,152 votes, or 46.9%.

The House seat consists of Lanai, Molokai, and Paia and Hana, Maui.

Both candidates are Molokai residents.

In the Nov. 3 general election, DeCoite will face Robin Vanderpool, the sole Republican candidate, who received 304, or 38.3% of votes against 488 blank votes, and sole Aloha Aina party candidate Theresa Kapaku, who received 83, or 79%, of votes against 22 blank votes.

A new state law, SB216, mandates recounts where there are 100 votes or less difference between candidates.

Nedielyn Bueno, spokeswoman for the elections office, said that, according to the law, recount results must be released no later than 72 hours after close of voting.

DeCoite, 50, a rancher and farmer who supports the growing of genetically modified crops, was appointed to the District 13 seat by Gov. David Ige in 2015 and won election in 2016 and 2018.

Ritte, 75, an educator and lifelong environmental activist who lives with his family on Hawaiian homestead lands, was arrested last year while protesting the construction of the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.

As for the two other recounts, which the Office of Elections did not make public until the recounts were complete:

> In the Republican primary for the House District 30 (Sand Island-Kalihi-Airport) seat, a recount showed Tess Abalos Quilingking with 237 votes and runner-up P.M. (Pualani) Azinga with 204 votes. The Sunday printout showed Quilingking with 236 votes and Azinga with 205. Quilingking will now face Democrat Ernesto “Sunny” Ganaden in the general election. Ganaden beat incumbent Romy Cachola in the primary.

> In a recount of the wild Kauai County Council race, where all 21 candidates were vying to finish in the top 14 in order to advance to the general elections, some gained votes and some lost votes but there was no change in the ultimate outcome.

Advancing (with their new total votes and the difference from the Sunday printout in parentheses): Mason Chock (12,197 votes, added 1 vote); Luke Evslin (12,046, no change); Arryl Kaneshiro (11,508, added 5); Bernard Carvalho Jr. (11,099, added 2); KipuKai Kualii (9,474, added 4); Felicia Cowden (8,669, lost 2 votes); Billy DeCosta (7,344, added 4); Jade Waialeale Battad (5,776, no change); Addison Bulosan (5,647, no change); Ed Justus (3,428, no change); Wally Nishimura (3,281, added 1); Richard Fukushima (3,017, added 1; Shirley Simbre-Medeiros (2,790, added 2); and Mike Dandurand (2,556, lost 1).

Eliminated were Victoria Franks (2,323, added 1); Naomi (Omi) Taniguchi (2,185, no change); Jacquelyn (Jakki) Nelson (2,063, no change); Donovan Kanani Cabebe (1,477, lost 1); Clint Yago Sr. (1,409, no change); Debralynn DeSilva Carveiro (1,229, no change); and Rory Parker (1,018, no change).

The 14 surviving candidates now advance to the general election where seven will be selected to serve on the nonpartisan Kauai County Council.

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