The Maui News - In the closest Maui County Council race on Tuesday, Attorney Don Guzman defeated businessman Alan Fukuyama by 17 percentage points, 23,415 votes to 14,903, for the Kahului residency seat. Both were vying for the seat vacated by Joe Pontanilla, who could not seek re-election due to term limits.
In the other contested County Council race involving nonincumbents, Stacy Helm Crivello will assume the vacant Molokai residency seat left by Danny Mateo because of term limits. She defeated Molokai High School teacher Wilson "Manuwai" Peters 41.5 percent (20,234) to 22.8 percent (11,116).
Incumbent Mike Victorino beat challenger and longtime friend Joe Blackburn II, 55.7 percent (27,147) to 27.3 percent (13,299), to return to the Wailuku-Waihe'e-Waikapu residency seat.
For the South Maui residency seat, Don Couch will assume his second term as he defeated Alana Kay, 55.4 percent (27,034) to 21.3 percent (10,385).
"I'm happy that people have the confidence in me to continue in the seat," Couch said.
He added that he wanted to hear from those who didn't vote in the race, although he said sometimes the blank votes are because some residents only vote for their district.
There were 11,330 blank votes in the South Maui race.
Couch said that in his second term, he hopes to continue as chairman of the planning committee to work at legislation on home-based businesses and "tweaking" the short-term rental bill and look at mixed zoning issues.
Kay said she will run for the South Maui seat again.
Incumbent Gladys Coelho Baisa will also return to her Upcountry seat as she overwhelmed retired scientist and Upcountry water meter advocate Richard Pohle, 57.4 percent (27,985) to 18.5 percent (9,022).
Four incumbent County Council members ran unopposed: Bob Carroll of East Maui, Elle Cochran of West Maui, Mike White of Makawao-Ha'iku-Pa'ia and Riki Hokama of Lana'i.