Civil Beat-HNN poll: Former judge leads in race for next Honolulu prosecutor

Civil Beat’s Chad Blair discusses poll results in prosecutor’s race

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With a little less than three weeks until Election Day, a new Honolulu Civil Beat-Hawaii News Now poll shows Steve Alm has the lead to become the next Honolulu prosecutor.

According to the poll released Wednesday, 43% of those surveyed said they would vote for Steve Alm — a former judge, prosecutor and U.S. attorney — while 31% said they would vote for Megan Kau, a defense attorney and former deputy prosecutor. However, 21% said they are still unsure at this point.

A new Civil Beat-HNN poll shows Steve Alm in the lead to become next Honolulu prosecutor.
A new Civil Beat-HNN poll shows Steve Alm in the lead to become next Honolulu prosecutor. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

Even though the prosecutor’s race is nonpartisan, the poll found that more Democrats, liberals and progressives prefer Alm — 51% — while Republicans and conservatives support Kau, about 43%.

“As Honolulu prosecutor, I will send the violent, dangerous repeat offenders to prison,” said Alm.

“Someone has to fight for the victims of Honolulu,” said Kau.

A new Civil Beat-HNN poll shows Alm enjoying support from Democrats, while many Republicans prefer Kau.
A new Civil Beat-HNN poll shows Alm enjoying support from Democrats, while many Republicans prefer Kau. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

In the general election, there’s also a charter amendment question asking whether there should be a two-term limit for Honolulu prosecutor, like there is for Honolulu mayor and City Council members. Currently, there’s no limit for the number of terms the Honolulu prosecutor can serve.

Only three men have held the job since it became an elected position in 1981: Charles Marsland, Peter Carlisle and Keith Kaneshiro. Kaneshiro, however, has been on paid leave for nearly two years after receiving a target letter in the Kealoha corruption case.

Most voters — 73% — said they would vote yes on term limits for Honolulu prosecutor.

In a new Civil Beat-HNN poll, most people said they would vote yes on having a term limit for Honolulu prosecutor.
In a new Civil Beat-HNN poll, most people said they would vote yes on having a term limit for Honolulu prosecutor. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

Alm finished first in the primary election in August, but shy of the 50% plus votes needed to win outright. Kau, meanwhile, placed second, securing her spot in a general election runoff.

The Prosecutor’s Office has been under a cloud of controversy since the indictment and eventual conviction of former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, making the race far more watched than in previous elections.

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