Carvalho bear hugs Kauai mayor seat - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Carvalho bear hugs Kauai mayor seat

Bernard Carvalho Bernard Carvalho
Joann Yukimura Joann Yukimura

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

LIHUE (KHNL) - Bernard Carvalho was elected Kauai mayor after defeating former mayor Joann Yukimura.

Carvalho won 57 percent of the vote with 15, 857 votes.

"Mayor Bernard Carvalho, sounds sweet and I love it," Carvalho said.

The majority of people on Kauai agree.

His first run at a political office came earlier than expected after Mayor Bryan Baptiste died in June after suffering cardiac arrest.

"I feel mayor was here tonight (Tuesday), spiritually and his wife Annette was here, so that was really nice, she came and presented me with a lei that he wore on a daily basis and I have that lei, so I'm going to hold on to this lei and wear it with pride," Carvalho said.

Pride is something his opponent, former mayor and councilwoman Joann Yukimura gleamed despite the tough loss.

"I've been here before," she said. "I've won mayor elections and I've lost them. I know that life continues after a loss and that there are other ways to serve."

Carvalho bear hugged the race after the first printout. His commanding lead grew as the night went along.

"I think the biggest challenge was a lot of rumors that were being spread about me that wanted to tear down trust people had in me," Yukimura said.

Some say Yukimura already had her chance at being mayor and the same people feel Carvalho deserves that chance.

"This is what we worked for and since July, I feel proud, I feel happy, I feel ready to serve the people of Kauai," he said. "I feel ready to work closely with my team."

One of Carvalho's main priorities as mayor will be to bring the superferry to Kauai. He sees this as a big way to help Kauai's slumping economy.

Carvalho will now serve two years. the remainder of the term of the late Baptiste.

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