First-time candidates raise most in Honolulu mayor’s race

HONOLULU — First-time political candidates Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi reported the largest war chests for this year’s Honolulu mayor’s race.

Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and City Councilwoman Kym Pine also have raised significant amounts,

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Amemiya has spent more than any other candidate during the first half of the year and the overall campaign cycle. He is the only candidate to have collected and spent more than $1 million total, according to data compiled from the Campaign Spending Commission by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The data reflects campaign finance activity between Jan. 1 and June 30.

Amemiya, a businessman and former director of state high school athletics, reported just under $470,000 from outside parties during the reporting period, the most out of any candidate during the six-month time frame.

Former television executive Blangiardi, who began his campaign in February, reported over $438,000 in receipts from outside parties during the same six months. Blangiardi also loaned his campaign over $265,000. Combined, his total contributions total over $700,000.

Hannemann, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, announced his intention to run for mayor just days before the June 2 deadline. Despite his late entry, Hannemann’s campaign has amassed over $438,000, the third-highest in collections between January and June. But, the $455,000 the Hannemann campaign has raised ranks last among the top five candidates.

Pine, who announced at the end of 2017 that she planned to run for mayor, has collected over $756,000 in total, ranking second to Amemiya. But during the latest six-month period, Pine’s campaign raised about $114,000.

Hanabusa’s campaign has raised just over $278,000 during the first six months. For the cycle, the campaign has collected about $540,000.

On the expenditure side, the Amemiya campaign has spent over $819,000 during the six-month reporting period, more than any other candidate. For the entire election cycle, he’s spent over $1 million.

Blangiardi has spent over $446,000. Pine’s campaign reported just under $331,000 in spending during the reporting period, and over $490,000 for the entire cycle.

Hanabusa has spent $299,085 during the reporting period. For the entire cycle, she has spent $388,255. Hanabusa announced her bid for mayor at the end of February.

The Hannemann campaign spent $195,825 for the reporting period and $209,003 for the overall period.

Candidates next are required to submit campaign financing reports on July 29, showing activity between July 1 and July 24.

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The primary election is Aug. 8. In the first-ever “vote by mail” election, all registered voters are expected to receive their ballots at their addresses around July 21.

In Honolulu’s voting process, a first-place finisher who receives more than half of the votes in the primary would win outright. Otherwise, the top two candidates will vie in the Nov. 3 general election.

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