After months of campaigning for the votes of Maui County, the results are in. Election night saw a number of surprises, including a shift in the balance of the County Council. Maui ‘Ohana candidates running on a platform of environment, culture, and slow growth were able to take five of the nine seats of the council, giving the group majority voting power. While the ‘Ohana-backed mayoral candidate Elle Cochran was unable to squeeze out a win, the impact of a new majority in the County Council will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the years to come.
As the third results report was released Tuesday night, reality set in at Cochran’s campaign headquarters. Elle lamented a low voter turnout and results that didn’t reflect the passion she saw in the community for her platform. “Now I know the ins and outs, I can be a part of helping with testimony and there’s a whole slate of new councilmembers who are going to need guidance and assistance so hopefully they’ll confide in me to help them and teach them some of the ropes,” Cochran said about her future plans. “At least for Tamara, she needs to pick up the ball from where I left off from so I gotta get her up to speed and move forward and continue the good fight.”
She remained hopeful for the future, adding, “I think there’s gonna still be some good things changing because the demographics of the council, and the people who are in now are going to bring some good things to the table and I’m really excited about that. We’ll see. I’ll still do my share and fight the good fight for our culture.”
By midnight, Mayor-elect Mike Victorino was on a victory Zippy’s run with his close supporters. “I am very grateful and ecstatic about the win but now the work begins,” he told me over the phone. “I want to work with all of you, every one of us. We gotta make Maui good, we gotta make Maui greater, and we gotta work together. It’s not my county, it’s not their county, it’s our county.
“The whole premise is working with all of the councilmembers, all of the departments, and with the media to make Maui better and to work to be more transparent. But transparency has got to be a two-way street. Everyone has got to listen to each other and then come to whatever compromise or whatever solution that will work for the majority, especially the people of Maui County. I’m happy and ready to get working with the council, whomever the council approves as my directors, and all of us,” he said.
Elected officials will begin their new term on Jan. 2, 2019. Results presented below are based on results taken from Elections.hawaii.gov.
Graphic design by Darris Hurst