Hawaii Filipinos gain 2 seats in elections

Filipinos in Hawaii have reason to be somewhat happy as they gained 2 seats in the state legislature.

Winning for the first time is Val Aquino Okitomo, a Filipina from Albay, and a Republican who easily defeated her Democrat opponent in Mililani. Rida Cabanilla Arakawa who traces her roots to Ilocos Sur, recaptured her legislative seat in Ewa Beach after losing it four years ago.

Other Filipinos who won reelection are: Lorraine Rodero Inouye, State Senator from the Big Island, and State Representatives Joy Buenaventura of the Big Island, Della Au Belatti, Romy M Cachola, Henry J.C. Aquino, Ty J.K. Cullen of Honolulu County. Brandon Elefante was reelected to the Honolulu City Council.

The biggest loss was for the office of Lieutenant Governor where Marissa Dipasupil Kerns, a Republican, lost. Kerns, who grew up from humble beginnings in Tondo, Manila, to become a successful entrepreneur in the trucking and shipping business, would have been a great advocate for Filipino causes. She is the most articulate Filipino in Hawaii and is a fighter. She had vowed to investigate corruption in high places, opposed the Honolulu rail project which has become a white elephant, opposed higher taxes, and promoted affordable housing. She would have helped Filipinas who are being abused, raped, and discriminated against in the workplace. As they say in Filipino “saying”.

Atty. Tipon may be reached at: [email protected]