We have updated our rundown of potentially competitive state House and Senate campaigns with campaign-finance figures for the past six months and some endorsements.
We have also added one race to the lineup, newcomer Nicole Velasco, who used to work for the state auditor, against Honolulu City Councilman Romy Cachola in the Democratic primary in House District 30 in Kalihi.
Overview: Majority Democrats have commanding control of the state House and Senate. With Hawaii-born President Barack Obama up for re-election, his popularity in the islands may help Democrats widen their majority even though some strategists believe the state Legislature is out-of-balance politically and overdue for a correction. Voter perceptions about Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s job performance could also influence how Democrats fare. A solid performance by former Gov. Linda Lingle in her Republican campaign for U.S. Senate could offer some down-ballot hope for minority Republicans, but the GOP more realistically would be satisfied with holding what they have and picking up an odd seat or two.
Redrawn political districts after the census could complicate the re-election plans for many incumbents. Issues such as economic recovery, environmental protection, and improving public education will likely shape many state campaigns.
Sen. Gilbert Kahele (D)
(Overall: $111,949 Six-month period: $58,054 Cash on hand: $23,593 Loans: $17,944)
Donald Ikeda (D)
(Overall: $20,123 Six-month period: $20,123 Cash on hand: $37 Loans: $10,000)
Outlook: Democratic. Kahele was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie last year to fill the vacancy created when Sen. Russell Kokubun resigned to become director of the state Department of Agriculture. Ikeda, who was barred by term limits from seeking another term on the Hawaii County Council, could be a test for Kahele in his first time before voters as a senator. The Hawaii Government Employees Association has endorsed Ikeda.
Rep. Robert Herkes(D)
(Overall: $44,004 Six-month period: $22,300 Cash on hand: $23,414)
Gary Safarik (D)
(Overall: $701 Six-month period: $701 Cash on hand: $701 Loans: $701)
Russell Ruderman (D)
(Overall: $20,454 Six-month period: $18,519 Cash on hand: $11,593 Loans: $6,000)
Wendell Kaehuaea (D)
(Overall: $0 Six-month period: $0 Cash on hand: -$950)
Daryl Smith (R)
(Overall: $3,076 Six-month period: $3,076 Cash on hand: $3,076)
Outlook: Open. Leans Democratic. Herkes, who has taken the lead on mortgage foreclosure in the House, is leaving to campaign for the new Senate seat created because of population growth in the region. Safarik represented the area on the county council until losing a close race for re-election in 2006. Ruderman, the owner of Island Naturals, has picked up the endorsement of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. Smith is the GOP county chair.
*SD4 (Kaupulehu-Waimea-North Hilo)
Sen. Malama Solomon (D)
(Overall: $50,940 Six-month period: $21,115 Cash on hand: $26,075)
Lorraine Inouye (D)
(Overall: $40,765 Six-month period: $37,985 Cash on hand: $25,769 Loans: $25,000 -plus $30,230 from previous campaign)
Kelly Greenwell (G)
Outlook: Democratic. Solomon, a former senator and the party’s choice for lieutenant governor in 2006, was appointed by Abercrombie in 2010 to fill the vacancy created when Sen. Dwight Takamine resigned to become director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. She was involved in the state law recognizing Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people with the right to self-government and a ceded lands settlement, both landmarks for the Abercrombie administration. She has also been one of the leading proponents of legalizing gambling. Inouye, a former senator and Big Island mayor, left the Senate for an unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2008. Greenwell, who used to represent North Kona on the county council before badly losing a re-election bid in 2010, is a Green candidate. The Sierra Club Hawaii chapter has endorsed Inouye.
Sen. Carol Fukunaga (D)
(Overall: $115,138 Six-month period: $68,768 Cash on hand: $61,992 Loans: $25,000 – plus $9,469 from a previous campaign)
Sen. Brian Taniguchi (D)
(Overall: $178,393 Six-month period: $20,110 Cash on hand: $131,956)
Larry Fenton (R)
(Overall: $670 Six-month period: $670 Cash on hand: $24
Outlook: Democratic. Primary voters will have to make the difficult choice between Fukunaga, the chairwoman of the Senate Economic Development and Technology Committee who has become a leader in new media, and Taniguchi, a former chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee who has been considered for the Senate presidency. Redrawn political maps placed the veteran senators into the same district. The HGEA supports Taniguchi, while the Sierra Club backs Fukunaga.
*SD17 (Waipahu-Pearl City)
Sen. Clarence Nishihara (D)
(Overall: $86,375 Six-month period: $24,590 Cash on hand: $34,678)
Alex Sonson (D)
(Overall: $24,267 Six-month period: $24,267 Cash on hand: $9,825 Loans: $9,281)
Outlook: Democratic. The famously cautious Nishihara, a former educator who is known for voting for controversial bills with reservations, may have some trouble in a rematch against Sonson. The former House lawmaker, who narrowly lost to Nishihara in the primary in 2008, could attract support from the district’s sizable Filipino community. The HGEA prefers Sonson.
Sen. Michelle Kidani (D)
(Overall: $155,653 Six-month period: $59,230 Cash on hand: $84,281)
Michael Magaoay (D)
(Overall: $35,573 Six-month period: $1,001 Cash on hand: $15,628)
Rojo Herrera (R)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Kidani took the lead in the Senate this year as an advocate for state construction spending to help with economic recovery. Magaoay, a former House lawmaker who lost a Senate primary campaign in 2010, is attempting a comeback in a district where Kidani will be the more familiar face. Republicans think Herrera, a pastor at New Hope Leeward, could surprise.
Sen. Clayton Hee (D)
(Overall: $494,025 Six-month period: $44,271 Cash on hand: $405,621)
Colleen Meyer (R)
(Overall: $22,519 Six-month period: $200 Cash on hand: $7,534 Loans: $49,850, mostly owed from previous campaign)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Hee, the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, has a sizable war chest going into his re-election campaign. But the district has been redrawn to include more of the North Shore neighborhoods that have been trending Republican over the past few cycles. Meyer, who lost re-election to the House in a close race in 2008, was the most conservative Republican in the chamber. Republicans believe Meyer could be competitive.
*SD25 (Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua)
Sen. Pohai Ryan (D)
(Overall: $45,009 Six-month period: $28,490 Cash on hand: $15,438)
Laura Thielen (D)
(Overall: $33,860 Six-month period: $33,860 Cash on hand: $21,412)
Levani Lipton (D)
(Overall: $5,744 Six-month period: $5,744 Cash on hand: -$5,619)
Fred Hemmings (R)
(Overall: $15,800 Six-month period: $15,800 Cash on hand: $6,119)
Outlook: Leans Republican. Ryan, in her first re-election bid, has had the misfortune of being caught up in the intra-party fight over whether Thielen should be allowed to run as a Democrat because she has been a party member for less than six months. Thielen, a director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources under former Gov. Linda Lingle, is probably the best known primary challenger because of the news media coverage of her dispute with the party. Thielen has won the endorsement of the Sierra Club. But the winner of the primary will have to face Hemmings, a surfing legend and former Senate minority leader who is one of the state’s most popular Republicans. The GOP has circled the district as a potential pick-up.
*HD3 (South Hilo-Keaau-Honuapo)
Brittany Smart (D)
(Overall: $1,673 Six-month period: $210 Cash on hand: $100)
Richard Onishi (D)
(Overall: $7,960 Six-month period: $7,950 Cash on hand: $4,698)
Marlene Hapai (R)
(Overall: $26,004 Six-month period: $5,971 Cash on hand: $17,311 Loans: $5,692 — plus $13,096 from previous campaign)
Frederick Fogel (L)
(Overall: $1,000 Six-month period: $1,000 Cash on hand: $925 Loans: $1,000)
Outlook: Open. Leans Democratic. Smart, a young Hawaii County Councilwoman, chose not to seek re-election and suggested she would take a break from politics. But she opted to campaign in the remnants of the House district that used to be represented by Herkes. Hapai, a former University of Hawaii regent, lost to Rep. Faye Hanohano in 2010 yet Republicans believe she has a chance in this reconfigured district.
Fred Housel (D)
(Overall: $6,120 Six-month period: $6,120 Cash on hand: $1,770 Loans: $5,000)
Nicole Lowen (D)
(Overall: $5,890 Six-month period: $5,890 Cash on hand: $2,433 Loans: $5,150)
Kalei Akaka (D)
(Overall: $150 Six-month period: $150 Cash on hand: $150)
Bucky Leslie (D)
(Overall: Not available)
Mike Breslin (R)
(Overall: Not available)
Roy Ebert (R)
(Overall: $3,547 Six-month period: $3,547 Cash on hand: $531)
Outlook: Open. Tossup. Housel, a Kona coffee farmer; Lowen, a legislative aide active with the Sierra Club; Akaka, the granddaughter of U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka; and Breslin, a former teacher and musician, are among the newcomers in this retooled district that could be friendly to Republicans.
Gilbert Keith-Agaran (D)
(Overall: $74,917 Six-month period: $39,411 Cash on hand: $36,627)
Joe Pontanilla (D)
(Overall: $23,894 Six-month period: $11,560 Cash on hand: $4,591)
Outlook: Democratic. Keith-Agaran, the chairman of the influential House Judiciary Committee, is the highest-ranking dissident in the House. His chairmanship was the biggest prize the dissidents gained in their unsuccessful challenge to House Speaker Calvin Say in 2011. Pontanilla, the vice chairman of the Maui Council, is prevented by term limits from seeking another council term, so he is taking on Keith-Agaran.
*HD11 (South Maui)
Rep. George Fontaine (R)
(Overall: $23,699 Six-month period: $11,273 Cash on hand: $8,254)
Joseph Bertram III (D)
(Overall: Not available)
Netra Halperin (D)
(Overall: Not available)
Kaniela Ing (D)
(Overall: Not available)
Colin Hanlon (D)
(Overall: $10,913 Six-month period: $10,913 Cash on hand: $7,237)
Outlook: Leans Republican. Fontaine, a retired police captain in his first re-election campaign, has found a niche on cybercrime issues in the House. The unconventional Bertram, a former House lawmaker who lost to Fontaine in 2010 after raising little money for his re-election, is back in the field. The young Ing, a former UH student body president and legislative aide for Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang, is getting some attention in Democratic circles.
*HD18 (Hahaione Valley-Aina Haina-Kahala)
Rep. Mark Hashem (D)
(Overall: $22,709 Six-month period: $8,080 Cash on hand: $13,511 Loans: $10,000 from previous campaign)
Jeremy Low (R)
(Overall: $24,027 Six-month period: $21,606 Cash on hand: $16,890 Loans: $15,244 — plus $3,405 from previous campaign)
Lori Wingard (R)
(Overall: $3,106 Six-month period: $3,106 Cash on hand: $1,676 Loans: $298)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Hashem, up for his first re-election campaign, caught a break when longtime GOP Rep. Barbara Marumoto chose not to run after they were drawn together in the same district. Low, a former analyst in the state Office of Language Access and a Marumoto aide who ran unsuccessfully for Honolulu City Council in 2010, and Wingard, a former Republican aide, lack name recognition and have a difficult path. But the district is potentially competitive for the GOP.
*HD19 (Diamond Head-Kaimuki-Kapahulu)
Bertrand Kobayashi (D)
(Overall: $10,092 Six-month period: $10,092 Cash on hand: $7,501)
Brian Yamane (D)
(Overall: $7,985 Six-month period: $7,985 Cash on hand: $5,294)
Darrell Young (R)
(Overall: $450 Six-month period: $450 Cash on hand: $48)
Outlook: Open. Leans Democratic. Interesting east side clash between two former state lawmakers who want a revival. Kobayashi served in the House in the late 1970s and early 1980s and the Senate in the 1980s and 1990s. Yamane, the father of Rep. Ryan Yamane, served in the House in the late 1990s.
Rep. Scott Saiki (D)
(Overall: $25,162 Six-month period: $7,225 Cash on hand: $20,394)
Lei Ahu Isa (D)
(Overall: Not available)
Ryan Kapuniai (D)
Tiffany Au (R)
(Overall: $3,052 Six-month period: $3,052 Cash on hand: $1,426 Loans: $100)
Outlook: Open. Leans Democratic. Saiki, a leader in the dissident faction that opposes Say, moved into the district to avoid a head-to-head duel with Rep. Scott Nishimoto, a fellow dissident. Ahu Isa is a former House lawmaker and state school board member.
*HD30 (Sand Island-Kalihi-Airport)
Romy Cachola (D)
(Overall: $210,998 Six-month period: $25,702 Cash on hand: $163,272)
Nicole Velasco (D)
(Overall: $23,769 Six-month period: $23,769 Cash on hand: $17,435)
Outlook: Open. Democratic. Cachola, a former House lawmaker who represents the region on the Honolulu City Council, is term-limited from running for council again so he has targeted an open seat. The young Velasco, who grew up in the district, used to work for the state auditor. She also coaches water polo at Farrington High School. Cachola is favored because of his experience, name recognition and leftover council bankroll, but some Democrats believe Velasco has promise, especially for voters wary of retreads. The HGEA has picked Velasco.
Rep. Heather Giugni (D)
(Overall: $46,489 Six-month period: $46,489 Cash on hand: $26,517 Loans: $15,000)
Rep. K. Mark Takai (D)
(Overall: $100,778 Six-month period: $25,285 Cash on hand: $52,822)
Sam Kong (R)
(Overall: $7,564 Six-month period: $3,875 Cash on hand: $3,587)
Outlook: Democratic. Giugni, the daughter of Henry Giugni, the late confidant to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, was appointed by Abercrombie this year to replace Rep. Tom Okamura, who resigned for health reasons. But Giugni was drawn into the same district as Rep. K. Mark Takai, a leading dissident known for his advocacy for higher education and alternative energy. The HGEA and the Sierra Club prefer Takai.
*HD34 (Pearl City-Waimalu-Pacific Palisades)
Eloise Tungpalan (D)
(Overall: $11,845 Six-month period: $11,845 Cash on hand: $5,252 Loans: $1,500)
Gregg Takayama (D)
(Overall: $28,200 Six-month period: $28,200 Cash on hand: $21,455 Loans: $20,000)
Outlook: Open. Democratic. Tungpalan, a former senator, is among the flood of former legislators who are interested in returning. Takayama, a former television reporter and Inouye aide, is married to Inouye ally Linda Chu Takayama.
*HD36 (Mililani-Mililani Mauka-Waipio Acres)
Rep. Marilyn Lee (D)
(Overall: $48,413 Six-month period: $9,775 Cash on hand: $37,622 Loans: $10,000 from previous campaign)
Beth Fukumoto (R)
(Overall: $8,065 Six-month period: $7,353 Cash on hand: $6,496)
Mel Apana (R)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Lee, the vice chairwoman of the House Finance Committee, narrowly avoided a surprise defeat in 2010 to a young Republican. Fukumoto, a young Republican who leads House Minority research and briefly served as interim GOP chairwoman, could probe whether Lee is vulnerable.
*HD40 (Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point)
Romeo Mindo (D)
(Overall: $4,855 Six-month period: $4,855 Cash on hand: $2,759 Loans: $2,155)
Kurt Fevella (D)
Rose Martinez (D)
(Overall: $8,838 Six-month period: $3,298 Cash on hand: $1,831 Loans: $300)
Chris Manabat (D)
(Overall: $500 Six-month period: $500 Cash on hand: -$4,847)
Sam Puletasi (D)
(Overall: $100 Six-month period: $100 Cash on hand: $100)
Joseph Rattner (D)
(Overall: $3,027 Six-month period: $3,047 Cash on hand: $3,027 Loans: $3,027)
Bob McDermott (R)
(Overall: $2,097 Six-month period: $2,097 Cash on hand: $500 Loans: $1,597)
Outlook: Open. Leans Republican. Mindo, a former House lawmaker who lost re-election in 2004, has the name recognition in a crowded Democratic field. McDermott, a former House lawmaker, has lost campaigns for Congress and City Council but is among the GOP’s best hopes in a region where Republicans have potential.
*HD43 (Kalaleloa-Ko Olina-Maili)
Rep. Karen Awana (D)
(Overall: $9,527 Six-month period: $50 Cash on hand: $9,211)
Hanalei Aipoalani (D)
(Overall: $1,733 Six-month period: $1,733 Cash on hand: $1,200)
Cynthia Rezentes (D)
(Overall: $2,121 Six-month period: $150 Cash on hand: $1,458)
Leslie McKeague-Gomes (D)
(Overall: Not available)
Tercia Ku (R)
(Overall: $0 Six-month period: $0 Cash on hand: -$25 Loans: $16,384 from previous campaign)
Glenn Butler (R)
(Overall: Not available)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Awana barely got past Aipoalani, a young businessman who had run unsuccessfully for Congress, in the primary in 2008 after she switched parties. The rematch will measure her strength among Democrats. The HGEA likes Aipoalani.
Jake Bradshaw (D)
(Overall: $13,931 Six-month period: $11,711 Cash on hand: $2,755)
Ollie Lunasco (D)
(Overall: $1,429 Six-month period: $1,429 Cash on hand: -$46)
Lauren Cheape (R)
(Overall: $8,311 Six-month period: $8,311 Cash on hand: $3,620)
Outlook: Open. Tossup. This reconfigured district could provide a gauge of each party’s youth movement: Bradshaw served in the Navy and is active with young Democrats; Cheape grew up in Mililani and was crowned Miss Hawaii last year. Republicans consider Cheape among their best prospects. The Sierra Club supports Cheape.
Rep. Gil Riviere (R)
(Overall: $18,878 Six-month period: $10,330 Cash on hand: $14,524)
Richard Fale (R)
(Overall: $21,715 Six-month period: $10,090 Cash on hand: $17,352)
Ululani Beirne (D)
(Overall: $2,500 Six-month period: $1,500 Cash on hand: $1,676)
Outlook: Republican. Riviere, who has emerged as a Republican perspective on the House Finance Committee, is up for his first re-election campaign in a redrawn district that now stretches down the Windward coast. Fale, who lost a House race last year, is a Mormon who could do particularly well in the Laie region. Beirne is a former House lawmaker.
House Majority Leader Pono Chong (D)
(Overall: $40,866 Six-month period: $14,425 Cash on hand: $17,953 Loans: $225 from previous campaign)
Rep. Jessica Wooley (D)
(Overall: $47,031 Six-month period: $18,025 Cash on hand: $16,934)
Outlook: Democratic. Chong, a top lieutenant to Speaker Say, has become influential on tax policy. Wooley, part of the dissident faction that has sought to topple Say for several years, is a progressive voice on Hawaiian affairs and environmental protection. Drawn into the same district, their primary is one of several that could have leadership implications in the House. The HGEA and the Sierra Club have backed Wooley.