HILO, Hawaii – With the sound of Sudden Rush playing in his campaign headquarters behind him, State Senator Kai Kahele spoke about the relief of victory following the final results of primary election.
The election for Hilo’s first district senate seat was held to fill a vacancy left by Kahele’s father, Gilbert, when he died in January. Kai was appointed to fill the position for the reminder of the legislative session. He was the incumbent for the seat he was never elected to. On Saturday night, the people decided to have him continue the job.
The young state senator got 6,469 votes from his Hilo constituents, or 55.4% on the vote.
Kahele had two Democratic challengers in the primary. Dennis “Fresh” Onishi earned 3,981 votes, good for 34.1%. Kaloa Robinson received 768, or 6.6% of the vote.
Kahele will still have Libertarian Kimberly Arianoff to contend with in the general election. Arianoff got 29 votes on primary night.