HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Retired Judge Steve Alm has taken an early lead in the race for Honolulu’s city prosecutor, but a large share of voters remain undecided, a new HNN-Civil Beat poll shows.
Some 21% of Oahu voters surveyed said they supported Alm for the spot.
Criminal defense attorney Megan Kau was in a distant second with 5%, while acting city Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto with 3%. He was ahead of public defender Jacquie Esser and attorneys RJ Brown and Tae Kim.
But 12% of voters said they supported none of these candidates. And 54% said they weren’t sure, leaving a whopping 66% of voters up for grabs.
The poll, conducted in partnership with Civil Beat, was taken May 18-20 and included 1,038 registered voters on Oahu. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Alm said he was “pleased” with the poll results.
“I think a lot of people aren’t focusing on this race right away and it’s really understandable. There’s a lot of undecideds,” he added.
Kau, meanwhile, says she entered the race knowing she’d be an underdog.
“Up until March, I was going at 200 miles per hour. I had five events a day,” she said. “All of a sudden, we hit a brick wall.”
The race is under the cloud of the conviction of former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. The investigation forced current Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro to go on leave.
Nadamoto says he’s restoring faith in the office.
“I am not Keith. I’m a different personality, I’m a much different person. I do consider Keith a friend,” he said.
HNN political analyst Colin Moore said Nadamoto doesn’t have name recognition, despite serving in the acting spot for months, and his connection to Kaneshiro likely won’t help his campaign.