The Office of Hawaiian Affairs board has two new members following the Nov. 6 general election: O‘ahu Trustee Kalei Akaka and At-large Trustee Brendon Kalei‘āina Lee.
Akaka, a 35-year-old Kamehameha Schools employee, will fill the O‘ahu seat vacated by Peter Apo, who did not seek re-election. Lee, 49, is president of the Kamehameha Schools alumni association and employed by Hawaiian Airlines. Lee steps into one of the at-large seats decided in November, alongside re-elected at-large members John Waihe‘e IV and Leina‘ala Ahu Isa. Maui Trustee Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey also won her bid for re-election. However, Rowena Akana, who had served as a trustee continuously since 1990, placed fifth in the contest for three at-large seats.
OHA trustees manage a trust valued at nearly $600 million, and are elected by voters statewide. This year’s election saw an uptick in voters for the OHA seats – 664,444 votes were cast in the 2018 general election, compared to 507,574 when the same seats were on the ballot in 2014. However, blank votes accounted for 44.3 percent of the at-large total.
In other state races, Gov. David Ige was re-elected to a second term, and former state Sen. Josh Green will serve as lieutenant governor. In the state Senate, after beating Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria in the Democratic primary, Sharon Moriwaki won the seat outright in the general and will represent District 12 (Waikīkī, Ala Moana, Kaka‘ako, McCully, Mō‘ili‘ili). Meanwhile, the District 19 seat (‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages) vacated by Sen. Will Espero in his unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor will be held by Kurt Fevella, who will be the lone Republican in the Senate. Other new senators include Dru Mamo Kanuha, District 3 (Kona, Ka‘u) and Jarrett Keohokalole, District 24 (Kāne‘ohe, MCBH, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘Ahuimanu).
The state House of Representatives will see nine new members:
- Rida Cabanilla, District 41 (‘Ewa Villages, ‘Ewa Beach, ‘Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe)
- Stacelynn Kehaulani Eli, District 43 (‘Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko ‘Olina, Kahe Point, Nānākuli, Lualualei, Māi‘li)
- Troy Hashimoto, District 8 (Kahakuloa, Waihe‘e, Waiehu, Pu‘uohala, Wailuku, Waikapü)
- Lisa Kitagawa, District 48 (Kāne‘ohe, Kahalu‘u, Waiāhole)
- Dale Kobayashi, District 23 (Mānoa, Punahou, Mō‘ili‘ili, University)
- Scot Matayoshi, District 49 (Kāne‘ohe, Mauanwili, Olomana)
- Amy Perruso, District 46, (Wahiawā, Whitmore Village and Launani Valley)
- David Tarnas, District 7 (North Kona, South Kohala, North Kohala)
- Christine M.L. Wildberger, District 11 (Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena)
Full election results are available at elections.hawaii.gov. Learn more about OHA’s new trustees in the January issue of Ka Wai Ola.
Watch online live
The newly-elected Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees will be sworn in Dec. 11 at an investiture ceremony at Washington Place. Watch it live on the ‘Ōlelo Community Media YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/olelocm and follow OHA’s social media page for live updates from the event.