Incumbents cruise in primary

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East Hawaii voters gave their state House representatives their approval Saturday.


East Hawaii voters gave their state House representatives their approval Saturday.

Each incumbent handily beat their challengers in the Democratic primary.

In District 1, covering Hamakua, Democratic Rep. Mark Nakashima received 3,853 votes, or 75 percent, with all precincts reporting. Nakashima, first elected in 2008, will face Republican Byron Young in the Nov. 8 general election.

Heather Kimball, Nakashima’s primary challenger, received 1,257 votes, or 24.6 percent.

In Hilo’s District 2, Democratic Rep. Clift Tsuji received 4,403 votes, or 79 percent with four of five precincts reporting.

Jonathan Wong came in second with 1,029 votes, or 18.4 percent.

Janis Cowser received 137 votes, or 2.4 percent.

Tsuji, first elected in 2004, will likely not face a challenger in the general election after non-partisan candidate Grace Larson received 27 votes.

Non-partisan candidates must receive at least 10 percent of the total votes cast in the race or tie the least popular partisan candidate to advance.

In District 3, covering parts of Hilo and Puna mauka, Democratic Rep. Richard Onishi received 3,096 votes, or 67.5 percent, with all precincts reporting.

Ainoa Naniole, his only primary challenger, received 1,487 votes, or 32.4 percent.

Onishi, first elected in 2012, will face Green Party candidate Kimberly Pisciotta and Libertarian Gregory Arianoff in the general election.

Democratic Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, who represents District 4 in Puna, did not face any primary challengers.

She will run against Constitution Party candidate Aaron Stephens and possibly non-partisan Luana Jones in the general.


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