Newcomers step up fundraising in Honolulu council race

Big wave surfer Makua Rothman and longtime political insider Tyler Dos Santos-Tam have raised more than $100,000 each in campaign contributions for their candidacy to serve on the Honolulu City Council, according to the latest financial report. in the countryside.

Meanwhile, former councilman and state representative Ron Menor outspent the 17 candidates vying for one of three city council seats up for grabs in the Aug. 13 primary.

Rothman said he raised $100,816 from Jan. 1 to June 30 after starting this year with no money. He hopes to represent District 2, which encompasses a variety of neighborhoods on the North Shore.

Incumbent Heidi Tsuneyoshi is stepping down from her seat to run for governor as a Republican.

Rothman, who enjoyed support from business owners and political action committees, spent more than $73,000 on fundraisers, t-shirts, political signs and professional services, leaving him with $17,737.

Nineteen people are vying for four seats on the Honolulu City Council this fall. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Dos Santos-Tam, former chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party, is running for District 6, which stretches from the Kalihi Valley to parts of Kakaako. He hopes to replace Carol Fukunaga, who is retiring and running for Senate District 11.

It started with $40,593 at the start of this year and has raised $103,988 over the past six months. He still has $71,927 left after spending $72,654.

The nine-member city council has four seats to fill. The sole incumbent is Tommy Waters, who represents the Waikiki area in Hawaii Kai. He will face political newcomer Kaleo Nakoa in the November 8 general election. They therefore have until October to file their financial reports, according to the Campaign Expenses Committee.

District 2 candidate Matt Weyer. Courtesy of Matt Weyer

Five candidates are in the running to represent District 2, which includes the Côte-Nord region.

Behind Rothman in the fundraiser is former city attorney Matt Weyer, who has raised $61,164 over the past six months. He still has $22,878 after spending $38,286, given that he started the election with no money.

Weyer received $4,000 each from District 25 House candidate Kim Coco Iwamoto, former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Waters. He also received $1,000 from Senator Stanley Chang and $250 from council member Esther Kiaaina.

Chad Tsuneyoshi, political consultant, businessman and ex-husband of Heidi Tsuneyoshi, has raised $23,110 so far this year. He has $8,125 left after spending $14,984 on banners and flyers.

Tsuneyoshi received $4,000 from a family member, $2,000 from Local 293’s State Legislative Fund, $3,000 from the Plumbers and Pipefitters PAC Fund, and $1,000 from the President of PVT Landfill .

The other candidates from District 2 are Lupe Funaki and Racquel Achiu. Funaki raised $1,499 and spent $3,511, while Achiu raised $5,223 and spent $2,453.

District 6 candidate Tyler Dos Santos-Tam. Courtesy of Kat Wade

The busiest council race is the District 6 seat with seven people hoping to represent downtown Honolulu.

Dos Santos-Tam and Ikaikai Hussey previously ran for the seat in 2018 but lost to Fukunaga.

Hussey has raised $13,791 in the past six months after starting this election period with $8,016 in cash.

He has more than $7,000 left after spending more than $10,000 on merchant fees, drinks for campaign backers, banners and online ads.

Local musician Nalani Jenkins received $53,668 in campaign contributions this year but spent $66,673, leaving her with a deficit of $9,628. She took out $45,000 in loans for her campaign.

District 6 candidate Nalani Jenkins. Courtesy of Nalani Jenkins

She spent $6,624 on radio advertising and over $18,000 on fundraising events. The rest of the money was spent on management services, banners and more.

Jenkins supporters include at least a dozen senior executives from Alexander & Baldwin, AFB Construction, RM Towill, Royal Contracting Co., Pacific Power Electrical Contracting and X-Ring Security and Firearm Training.

Former Miss Hawaii Traci Toguchi has raised $16,679 so far this year. He is left with $3,743 after spending $6,656. She loaned her campaign $6,279.

She received backing from BlackSand Capital, a real estate private equity firm, and City Fender and Body Service, a local auto shop.

Chad Toshiro Wolke, a former congressional staffer, raised $15,602. Its supporters include UpdatePower Corp., the Pearl Harbor Shipyard and the IMF. He has $9,446 left after spending $5,827.

Liliha/Puunui/Alewa/Kamehameha Heights Neighborhood Council Secretary Chance Naauao-Ota raised $3,398. He has not spent any money on his campaign as of June 30.

Dennis Nakasato did not file his expense report by Thursday’s deadline. He was not available for comment.

Five people hope to represent District 8, which includes Waimalu, Newtown, Pearl City, Seaview, Crestview, Waipio Gentry, Koa Ridge, Mililani Town and Mililani Mauka.

Two of them have the most political experience: Menor, who served on the city council from 2013 to 2021 as well as the State House, and Val Okimoto, a Republican state representative.

Okimoto raised $58,000 more in campaign contributions than Menor this year.

Val Okimoto, District 8 candidate. Courtesy of Val Okimoto

Okimoto said he raised $80,208 from January 1 to June 30 after starting this year with $36,905. She still has $91,653 after spending more than $17,000 this year, according to the latest campaign spending figures.

Its list of donors includes the Plumbers Political Action Committee, Local Union 293 State Legislature Fund, Commercial Plumbing Inc, Lihue Airport Newsstand, The Kobayashi Group LLC, Castle and Cooke Inc. Legislative Committee, and Kobayashi Group executives. .

Menor started with more cash on hand at $462,899. He raised $20,750 this year.

Menor outspent all of his opponents in three City Council races, spending more than $117,000.

He has spent his money producing campaign materials and supplies, social media ads, campaign food and business cards.

District 8 candidate Ron Menor. Courtesy: Ron Menor

Menor received $2,500 from the lawyers, $4,000 from the Local 1 Political Action Committee, $2,000 from the Masons Local 630, $1,000 from the Kobayashi Group and $1,000 from the Hawaii Auto Dealers Elected Action. He also received $500 each from Alexander & Baldwin and former state senator Robert Bunda.

Keone Simon, who ran unsuccessfully for House District 34, raised over $60,000. He has spent over $79,000 and has a deficit of about $58,000.

In the past six months, he has spent $15,000 on mentoring and training services from Hawaii Leadership Solutions, which is the consulting business of board member Andria Tupola. Simon also spent over $15,000 on postage for shippers.

Starting this year, with $11,506 in cash, Dion Mesta raised $17,383. He still has $21,882 after spending over $7,000.

Mesta is the legislative aide to council member Brandon Elefante. Elefante donated $1,000 to support Mesta. Other notable donors are former board member Gary Okino, who donated $500; the founder of Kobayashi Group, who donated $200; and an administrative service assistant at the state Department of Education, who donated $2,000.

Charmaine Doran, who worked for the city council for a few decades, raised $3,234 this year. She ends up with the same amount after spending little.

Oahu voters can expect to receive primary ballots in their mailboxes by July 26. Candidates for the city council must obtain 50% of the vote plus one to win the primary. Otherwise, the first two voters will face a runoff in November’s general election.

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