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In House, Poepoe leads incumbent Clark, Cochran beats Balinbin

Mahina Poepoe upset incumbent Rep. Linda Clark in the Democratic primary for House District 13. Photo courtesy Mahina Poepoe

Mahina Poepoe, the only Molokai candidate in the state House District 13 race and a new face to politics, was leading incumbent Rep. Linda Clark by around 300 votes in the Democratic primary after the second printout Saturday night.

After the second tally, released at around 10:30 p.m., Poepoe had 1,397 votes, or 39.8 percent, to Clark’s 1,060 votes, or 30.2 percent. Third was Chase Nomura with 576 votes, or 16.4 percent. The winner of the Democratic primary for District 13, which covers East Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe, will go on to face Republican Scott Adam and Nick Nikhilananda of the Green Party.

Poepoe and Clark could not be reached for comment Saturday night.

In a race to represent House District 14, which now encompasses West Maui, Kahakuloa and Waihee, former Council Member Elle Cochran took an early lead against Kahana resident Kanamu Balinbin with nearly 40 percent of the votes after the first tally.

By the second reading, Cochran slightly increased her lead to 1,444 votes, or 54 percent, to Balinbin’s 864 votes, or 32.3 percent.

Elle Cochran had a solid lead over Kanamu Balinbin in the Democratic primary for House District 14. Photo courtesy of Elle Cochran

Cochran, who held the council’s West Maui residency seat from 2011 to 2018, will move on to the general election to face Republican Kelly Armstrong, who got 574 votes, and Aloha Aina candidate Leonard “Junya,” Nakoa III, who received 54 votes. Neither had an opponent in the primary.

Moving forward, Cochran wants to figure out how to engage the 9.5 percent of the votes (254 ballots) that were left blank.

“I’m totally happy and stoked, of course, but the 254 blank votes, I definitely want to figure out where they’re at,” she said. “I’m just going to keep working and keep my nose to the grindstone and do what I do — get out into the community and meet and greet and get as many votes from people as I can.”

In a race for the District 11 seat representing Kihei, Wailea and Makena, Terez Amato pulled ahead after the first printout with 60.8 percent, or 1,818 votes, against Democratic competitor Randal Mahiai Jr.

After another round of tallies, Amato maintained a lead with 1,866 votes, or 60.7 percent, to Mahiai’s 698 votes, or 22.7 percent.

Terez Amato won the Democratic primary for House District 11. Photo courtesy Terez Amato

In the general election in November, Amato will face Republican Netra Halperin, who won Saturday’s primary with 435 votes, or 41.6 percent, over Shekinah Cantere’s 391 votes, or 37.4 percent.

Democrat incumbent Rep. Justin Woodson secured his seat for House District 9 from the start, racking up 70.8 percent of the voter pool, or 2,552 votes, to competitor Sam Peralta’s 635 votes, or 17.6 percent, after the second printout. House District 9 covers Kahului, Puunene, Old Sand Hills and Maui Lani. There is no Republican challenger.

Woodson could not be reached for comment Saturday night.

Netra Halperin led Shekinah Cantere in the Republican primary for House District 11 as of the second printout. Photo courtesy of Netra Halperin

Democratic Rep. Justin Woodson defended his seat against challenger Sam Peralta in the winner-take-all race for House District 9. Photo courtesy Justin Woodson

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