Kirk Caldwell (left) Charles Djou (right) (image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
On the eve of the election, Honolulu mayoral candidates Kirk Caldwell and Charles Djou are making their final push for votes.
"We're pumped! We're excited! We're energetic! We're gonna take back city hall!” said Djou.
"I'm hoping they'll go to the polls and they'll vote for Kirk Caldwell. A guy who's all about infrastructure, to make our city more city, to keep our country more country," the incumbent said.
Both men acknowledge the race is largely dominated by the rail project, which is about a billion dollars over budget.
After a marathon campaign, Caldwell says he will do whatever it takes to go the full route of 20 miles and 21 stations.
"I'm passionate about building rail. You look at the traffic here, bumper to bumper. We need an alternative to cars and gridlock in the urban core and rail is that. I put my political life on the line for rail…if I get elected, I'm gonna fight for it tooth and nail to get the additional funding to complete the last 4.3 miles to Ala Moana…it's not about I'm gonna talk stink, pretend to have a financing plan, I got a real plan," Caldwell said.
Djou has been criticized for not having a firm plan for rail, but says he can do a better job than his opponent.
"We're not going to write a blank check here. Enough with these cost overruns, enough with these endless delays here…you have a real choice, between status quo and doing more of the same. Or coming on with us, and changing and changing for the better. And I'm asking people, give us a chance," said Djou.
Overshadowing this election season is negative campaign ads, funded by third-party political action committees. Honolulu voters say it's distasteful.
"I think it should be a clean campaign with politics and I don't believe it has been," voter Deborah Gonsalves said.
Many say they are just glad the election season is finally coming to an end.
"I think we should just get it over with," voter Jude Balisacan said.
"I'm ready for this to be over….may the best candidate win," said Gonsalves.
Polls open at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 8th, 2016 and close at 6:00 p.m. If voters are in line at 6:00 p.m. they will still be allowed to vote.