Kauai will be seeing a lot of changes and Tuesday night will be the deciding factor.
Current Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho has reached his term limit.
The primary election featured a crowded race as seven candidates had their eye on the position.
On Tuesday night, it came down to two current council members: Derek Kawakami and Mel Rapozo.
3rd printout: Derek Kawakami will be the next mayor of Kauai County with 15,756 votes or 65.1% to Mel Rapozo’s 7,484 votes or 30.9%.
“We’re extremely humble. Our campaign team, they worked so hard for this and they made so much sacrifices,” Kawakami said.
Kawakami has a plan in place for when he becomes mayor.
“Our first 100 days is going to be focused on getting on a good cabinet together,” he said. “We want to put people in places where they can succeed. We’re going to take a look at our legislative package. Our legislative session is coming up right around the corner. There’s a number of policies that we’re going to be asking our legislators to pass so we can enforce on illegal TVRs (transient vacation rentals). We have a number of properties we’re looking at partnering with the state to have transferred over to the county so we can get affordable housing up and running.
“We’re taking a look at getting our budget in order. Our budget is the next big thing we’re looking at . then of course we’re going to be deploying an affordable housing task force so we can identify shove-ready projects and get those projects up and going as soon as possible,” he continued.
2nd printout: Derek Kawakami extends his lead with 10,442 votes or 65.1% to Mel Rapozo’s 4,993 votes or 31.1%.
Kawakami says the secret to his success is: “good process, good policy, good procedure, good people. We’ve got a great product and we’ve got a great service, so that’s what we’re going to focus on. We’re gonna take a look at where our strengths are. We’re gonna look at where we’re weak and we’re gonna improve on those weaknesses, and then of course, we’re gonna look at any type of opportunities and threats that lie ahead of us.”
1st printout: Derek Kawakami has taken an early lead with 7,289 votes or 64.9% versus Mel Rapozo with 3,493 votes or 31.1%.
Volunteers say Wilcox Elementary School on Kauai was busy as residents turned out to vote.
In the County Council, four members have filed for re-election, and there are three more positions to fill.