Kimball beats Yagong in Hamakua council race; Kanealii-Kleinfelder edges Rodenhurst in Puna

  • Kanealii-Kleinfelder

  • Kimball

Heather Kimball has bested former Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong for a seat on the Hawaii County Council.

Kimball received 4,531 votes, or 55% of votes, after eliminating blank and “over” votes from the tally, compared to Yagong’s 3,707, or nearly 45%.

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The District 1 seat is currently held by Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter who is term-limited.

Yagong and Kimball were the top vote-getters in a crowded primary in August.

As previously reported, Kimball holds a master’s degree in environmental science and owns a consulting firm focused on land management, carbon mitigation and climate change adaption policy.

Although Kimball had previously sought state office, this was her first run for a county seat.

Following the August primary, she told the Tribune-Herald that her immediate priority would be the response to COVID-19.

Yagong served as Hamakua councilman for six years beginning in 1996 before sitting out a two-year term and returning for six more years in 2006.

He left the position to run for mayor in 2012 but came in third behind former Mayor Billy Kenoi and current Mayor Harry Kim.

Puna Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder also appeared poised to win his bid for a second term on the County Council.

The freshman incumbent, an electrical project manager and small business owner, faced Ikaika Rodenhurst, a civil engineer and construction consultant for county and state highway projects, for the District 5 seat.

Kanealii-Kleinfelder received 4,151 votes, or 52%, compared to Rodenhurst’s 3,833 votes, or 48%.

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Kanealii-Kleinfelder previously told West Hawaii Today that the COVID-19 pandemic is the major health and economic issue facing the county, but cited his experience in handling his dual roles as essential in rebuilding the economy.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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