Leading Filipino candidates in Hawaii primary elections

by Kathleen Lee, ABS-CBN News

HONOLULU — A number of Fil-Am candidates in Hawaii are gearing up for round two of elections in November, after advancing from the primaries on August 11.

Leading the pack of victorious kababayans is Marisa Dipasupil Kerns, who won the Republican party’s nomination for lieutenant governor.

Kerns moved to Hawaii in 1987 at the age of 25 and has since become a successful entrepreneur, as the owner/operator of a shipping business called Oahu Express.

Her priorities if elected lieutenant governor include: stopping the overpriced rail project from bankrupting taxpayers, cutting taxes to lower the high cost of living in Hawaii, and fighting corruption and lower the cost of state government.

After winning the GOP’s nomination, Dipasupil Kerns said, “Together, as Republicans united against the harmful, failed policies which have caused so many island residents to suffer across our state (and many leave Hawaii), I am focused on repealing and replacing these broken policies and championing the reforms which will make Hawaii affordable again.”

Another winning Fil-Am candidate in Hawaii also belongs to the GOP ticket. Grace-Manipol Larson became her party’s nominee for the state house District 2 seat.

Her race was marred by controversy, after her opponent Bryan Feste was expelled by the Hawaii Republican party after learning of his alleged racist views.

She said while Hawaii is trained to vote only Democrat — the Republican core values also mirrors values of Filipino-Americans.

“We are pro-family, we have close family ties, we help our old folks, we love our elderly, and we send our kids to school. We prioritize their education. And we’re very hardworking people. We’re resilient and very thrifty. And that, being thrifty as a filipino, it is also the core value of most republicans. We are fiscally conservative. We don’t just give away things without giving it as a reward or so. But you have to work for it.”

It was also a winning campaign for these Filipinos in Hawaii.

Democratic Romy Cachola and Republican Mar Velasco will face each other for the state house District 30 seat.

Democratic incumbents who ran unopposed for state house representatives include Joy San Buenaventura, Henry Aquino and Ty Cullen.

Also successful in their bid to be nominated by their party for the state House Representative race are Democrats Rose Martinez and Rida Cabanilla Arakawa.

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