WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County will soon have a new mayor.
Mike Victorino beat out Councilwoman Elle Cochran by more than 5,000 votes in a hotly-contested battle for current Mayor Alan Arakawa’s seat.
Victorino said his top priorities include affordable housing, sustainable agriculture, and cracking down on illegal vacation rentals.
In his victory speech Tuesday night at Kahului Shopping Center, he said another priority will be to work well with the Maui County Council.
“I will be calling upon each and every one of them,” said Victorino. “To sit with them individually to find out three things from them: What they believe their district needs, what they believe the County of Maui needs, and most importantly, how we can work together.”
That could be a huge undertaking since voters elected six new council members. Five are tied to anti-development groups, which is enough for majority on the nine-member council.
“It’s going to make it somewhat of a challenge. But I believe that when we all come together and work hard, we’re going to be able to achieve what Maui County really needs, a change,” Victorino said.
Victorino said he’s had prior aspirations to run for mayor but decided to put his dreams on hold so his children could achieve theirs first.
"The mold that he made me, my brother, the things that we worked hard for, it says it all. He put us before himself,” said son Shane Victorino.
The Major League Baseball All-Star flew in from Las Vegas on Tuesday to support his father.
He said Maui County is in good hands.
“Not just my dad ... we never talked about my mom. I think that in this conversation a lot of people forget about the real backbone of our family, and that’s the part for me, I tell people, they’re getting a two-for-one,” he said.
"They’re getting a man that hopefully will run this community correctly, but I can promise you he’s gonna run it correctly because he’s got a woman behind him that’s not going to let him do things that doesn’t make this community better.”