‘Bad blood’ drives City Council rematch for east Honolulu seat

The race could shift the balance of power on the council.

“Bad blood’ in City Council rematch between Ozawa, Waters

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of the few general election races that is too close to predict is the east Honolulu rematch between incumbent City Councilman Trevor Ozawa and challenger Tommy Waters.

In 2014, Ozawa defeated former Windward state Rep. Tommy Waters by 41 votes for the seat, which runs from Hawaii Kai to Ala Moana. Four years later, the two are head-to-head again.

Ozawa, a vocal critic of Mayor Kirk Caldwell, said one of his biggest accomplishments is "continuing to oppose nickel and dime fees and tax increases by the mayor and the administration."

He added, “I’ve seen how much waste is in the administration.”

Waters counters that it’s not enough to point out problems, you have to do something about them.

“Let’s start solving the problem,” he said.

Waters accuses Ozawa of a lack of progress on homelessness, monster homes and rail, but Ozawa says Waters lacks and understanding of the issues. He also says Waters is beholden to Caldwell, who is supporting him.

“There’s tremendous bad blood,” said HNN political analyst Colin Moore.

He added that the East Honolulu council race could shift the balance of power on the body.

“For the mayor’s power on the council, this is really one of the crucial races," he said. “I know Caldwell will be following this one on election night because he really does need more friends on the council.”

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