by Andrew Walden
What a bunch of losers. That's the takeaway from election results for anti-GMO candidates statewide.
On Kauai, pro-GMO mayor Bernard Carvalho crushed anti-GMO candidate Dustin Barca, leader of the so-called "Kauai Rising" protests. With all Kauai precincts counted on fifth read, the results are 57% for Carvalho and 30% for Barca. The two will face off again in the General.
Kauai HD15--Rep Jimmy Tokioka utterly destroyed anti-GMO Dylan Hooser 63-29% with 5 of 5 precincts reporting.
Kauai council results are mixed. Pro-GMO challengers Arryl Kaneshiro and Kipu Kai Kualii finished 3rd and 8th respectively. Incumbent anti-GMO leader and tax cheat Gary Hooser is 6th, his cohort Tim Bynum finished 7th, and anti-GMO appointee Mason Chock came in 10th, right ahead of 11th place pro-GMO newcomer Arthur Brun. The top 14 candidates move on to a runoff for seven seats in the November 4 General.
Pro-GMO Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa cruised to victory with 63.8% of the vote. Anti-GMO candidate Tamara Paltin trailed far behind with 11.9% and anti-GMO bong-maker Beau "Faceplant" Hawkes got 1.4% of the electorate. With minor candidates out of the way it will be Arakawa vs Paltin in the General..
East Maui Council incumbent Bob Carroll missed several months of work recovering from surgery, but he handily defeated anti-GMO activist and Hawaii Green party co-chair Nick Nikhilananda 60% to 14%. South Maui incumbent Don Couch dismissed anti-GMO challenger John Fitzpatrick 55% to 13%.
State Senator Roz Baker held off anti-GMO activist Terez Amato 52% to 43% in the Democratic primary with 100% reporting.
On Oahu, anti-GMO HD48 candidate EarthJustice lawyer Robert Harris lost to Jarrett Keohokalole 41% to 50% with all ballots counted. HD48 is an open seat vacated by anti-GMO ex-Rep Jessica Wooley.
On the Big Island, pro-GMO Puna District 4 Councilman Gregor Ilagan has 37.9% of the vote compared to nearest challenger Roy Lozano with 27%. It may require 21 days to obtain the balance of the result due to the closure of two precincts in areas hard hit by Hurricane Iselle. (UPDATE August 15, 2014: With all votes counted, Ilagan wins outright with 52% of the vote.) Running in one of the most hippiefied areas of the state, Ilagan was the focus of a 5000 word NYT article which detailed his discovery process as he debunked one anti-GMO claim after another until finally voting against anti-GMO ordinances before the Hawaii County Council.
In Puna Council District 5, Daniel Paleka is ahead of anti-GMO candidate Tiffany Edwards Hunt 33.7% to 30.3% in a split field running for an open seat.
In Council District 6, Kau, Babes Against Biotech candidate Richard Abbett received only 16.6%. He was crushed by Maile David Medeiros with 59.6%. Maile David will be replacing anti-GMO council member Brenda Ford who termed out. Ford endorsed loser Abbett.
A rare plus for anti-GMO forces comes in Hawaii County Council District 9 where fear-mongering incumbent Margaret Willie is pulling 46% of the vote against pro-GMO challengers Ronald Gonzales and Sonny Shimaoka with 26% and 22% respectively. Will the forces of reason be able to unite behind Gonzales in the runoff?
The 2008 Obama primary campaign brought a wave of unaffiliated haole activists into the Democratic Party organization and lower-level elected offices. It appears that in the 2014 cycle, HGEA, UPW, and Carpenters continue the process of pushing these undesirable elements back out.
At this rate, the Superferry may yet make a comeback.