Comedian Augie T bests longtime lawmaker in City Council race

Comedian Augie Tulba reacts to winning City Council District 9

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The City Council will include five new members come January ― three of whom secured their seats in tough races on Tuesday night.

Perhaps the most high-profile of the council races is the one for District 9, where local comedian Augie T. beat longtime lawmaker Will Espero.

In the final printout released by elections officials on Wednesday morning, Augie T garnered 21,240 of the votes — about 49% — while Espero received 19,682 votes — or 45.6%.

District 9 represents Waikele, Mililani Town and parts of Ewa Beach.

“I knew that coming into this, there was going to be criticism, lots of challenges, but there’s a side of me that always loves serving and this last 16 months really justified my cause,” Augie T said on Wednesday morning, shortly after the results were released.

“It really gave me a lot of comfort in knowing I might’ve done something right in the 28 years of making people smile and laugh.”

One of his top priorities, he said, is public safety, especially when it comes to crimes involving seniors.

He said he wants to work with Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard and the City Council to ensure first responders have the tools they need to keep his district safe.

Another close race in the general election was District 7, which covers Kalihi to Salt Lake.

Radiant Cordero will fill her boss Joey Manahan’s seat. She won the seat over Jacob Aki. Cordero got about 49% of the vote compared to 43%.

And in District 3 — Windward Oahu — Esther Kiaaina secured a sizeable lead over Greg Thielen.

She’s captured nearly 54% of the vote, compared to Thielen’s 37%.

Two other incoming council members — former state representative and one-time Republican gubernatorial candidate Andria Tupola and longtime former state Rep. Calvin Say — secured enough votes in their districts to win outright in the primary election.

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