A runoff election will decide Honolulu’s mayoral race after the incumbent and challenger did not garner the majority vote needed to win.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell came in first place at 44.6 percent of the vote. Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou took a close second with 43.7 percent of votes cast. The two candidates are headed for a Nov. 8 runoff election to lead the government of the state’s largest city and capitol. “We only started this campaign two months ago with absolutely no money,” Djou told KHON-TV. “We took on the incumbent mayor who outspent us by a six, seven-to-one margin. He had his whole administration, his whole machine behind him here, and yet here we are, toe-to-toe with the mayor _ and that speaks volumes about the incredible hard work all of my volunteers have done.”
Former Mayor Peter Carlisle took 9.4 percent of the vote. “Oh, it’s finished. It’s over,” Carlisle said according to Hawaii News Now. “The campaign was interesting. I did not want to be a typical politician.” Caldwell has been facing criticism over the city’s rail project. Costs have climbed billions higher than originally estimated, and Djou opposes a tax extension to fund the difference.
Caldwell attributes the price increases to economics and court delays. “My thoughts are to keep working really hard,” Caldwell told KHON-TV. “I think it’s doing more of the same and getting our message out, staying positive, and talking about all the issues.”
“We need a sewer system that works, we need a water system that works, we need roads that work, we need buses that work, and of course housing our homeless,” he added.
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“I’ve been tackling those issues with metrics that we measure and report on.”