Kalei Akaka cruised to re-election to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees after capturing more than 50% of the vote for the Oahu seat.
Akaka, the granddaughter of the late U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, received over 57% of the vote as of late Saturday with relatively few more votes to count.
Normally, the top two Oahu seat candidates advance to the General Election ballot. In this case, however, Akaka exceeded the threshold for automatic re-election: 50% plus one vote.
Her top challenger is current at-large trustee Brendon Kalei‘aina Lee, who received only 18% of the vote as of the second printout.
Lee, who was elected to OHA in 2018 after leading the 2016 Aha that adopted a Native Hawaiian constitution, gave up his at-large seat to run for the Oahu seat held by Akaka.
Perennial candidate Jackie Burke, an artist and entrepreneur, and Robert Peters, former high school music and drama director, came in third and fourth for the Oahu seat, capturing 15% and 9%, respectively.
All of the other OHA incumbents appear to have advanced to the general election Nov. 8.
For the three at-large seats up for election, six of the 11 candidates will advance. They are incumbents Lei Ahu Isa and John Waihee IV, plus challengers former state Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, attorney Sam Kalanikupua King, former University of Hawaii football standout Chad Owens and Realtor Keoni Souza.
Galuteria, the veteran radio and television personality, was the top-vote getter with 17.3% of the vote.
Missing out will be Julien Ako, U‘i Kahue-Cabanting, Kealii Makekau, William Paik and Z. Kaapana Aki.
For the Hawaii island seat, only incumbent Mililani Trask and Hope Cermelj were running so, therefore, they will go straight to November’s general election ballot.
One incumbent, Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, ran unopposed for the Maui seat and was automatically reelected. Her name will not appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Go to https://staradvertiser.com/election for updates, resources and live results from today’s Hawaii Primary Election.