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BREAKING: Bissen, Victorino take early lead in mayor’s race

Former judge Richard Bissen and incumbent Mayor Michael Victorino were neck and neck in the Maui County mayoral race with the first release of results in the primary election on Saturday night.

Bissen had 9,763 votes, or 35.8 percent, with Victorino at 9,086 votes, or 33.3 percent, the top two candidates so far in a crowded field of eight.

Council Member Kelly Takaya King was the next closest challenger at 3,794 votes, or 13.9 percent.

Kim Brown followed at 1,566 votes, or 5.7 percent, while Council Member Mike Molina had 1,543 votes, or 5.7 percent.

Cullan Bell had 679 votes (2.5 percent) followed by Alana Kay at 162 votes (0.6 percent) and Jonah Lion at 60 votes (0.2 percent).

“Lots of emotions right now, all good, all positive,” Bissen said via his cell phone while outside Binhi at Ani in Kahului where he and his supporters gathered.

He added he was happy for his supporters because of all the sacrifices, support and the work that they put in.

“I feel great,” he added. “There is so many hands that…put this together.”

Bissen said he was not sure where this would put him by the end of the night.

“It’s new to me…..we are all amateurs,” Bissen said as this is his first political run.

Victorino said: “I’m happy. I was hoping for a little better results for myself, but I’m very happy in what I see at this very moment.”

“I’m excited, but of course we got to wait until the final count. That may be to midnight or something like that I have been told,” he said from the ILWU hall in Wailuku.

“Being in this position I like to be first, but second is good at this point in time.”

King who was in third said via phone after the first printout, “I was a little disappointed.”

“I got so much positive feedback after every forum and I wish we had more of a choice,” she added.

“I guess we will wait until the second printout, to see if this is the trend,” she said, and added “It looks like its going to be hard to catch up.”

Council Member Mike Molina was home for the first results.

“It’s certainly not the numbers we’re hoping for,” he said. “We’ll just see how things play out the rest of the night.”

With Bissen and Victorino in a close race, he said support from the other candidates in the race could make a difference.

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