Congressional hopeful Tulsi Gabbard’s Aug. 16 resignation from the Honolulu City Council is saving taxpayers at least $150,000 for a special election. But with just 10 weeks to campaign, candidates who already possess name recognition and political war chests will likely have an edge.
Still, it’s unclear how that will play out, since so many of those who have expressed interest in the seat are already known to voters, including former Councilman Jon Yoshimura, who has already announced his candidacy; Esther Kiaaiana, who lost the Democratic Congressional nomination to Gabbard; state Sen. Carol Fukunaga, who was defeated in the Aug. 11 primary; state Reps. Karl Rhoads and John Mizuno; former state Sen. Dennis Nakasato; former state Rep. Sam Aiona; Oahu Democratic Party official Bixby Ho; and city employees Gordon Bruce and Gail Haraguchi.
Gabbard, who bested front-runner Mufi Hannemann in the Democratic primary, is considered a lock for the Second Congressional District seat.
Aug. 31 is the deadline to file papers for the Council seat. Candidates will be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.