2 well-known politicians face off in Democratic race for seat representing Aiea, Pearl City

Senate District 16 stretches from Halawa to Aiea and all the way down to Pearl City.
Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 5:41 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 8, 2022 at 10:00 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Senate District 16 stretches from Halawa to Aiea and all the way down to Pearl City.

And now the incumbent senator for the area is facing off against a longtime City Council member.

Bennette Misalucha came to Hawaii from the Philippines 40 years ago.

She is a mom of two who stepped into the political realm in 2020 when she was appointed to Senate District 16 in July and then elected to remain in the position in November.

Although she served as a state lawmaker for only two years, she believes she is the more viable candidate.

“In the height of the pandemic, within weeks of being appointed, we actually were able to organize or food drives for our needy families, school supply drives, as well as toy drives,” said Misalucha.

Her top priority is workforce development and providing more jobs in her district.

“I think it’s important to lay the foundation so that our kids would be set up for the future,” said Misalucha. “So, that they will have the necessary skill sets to be able to compete with anybody.”

Aiea grad and former Damien School Teacher Brandon Elefante served on the Honolulu City Council for eight years.

As his term at the council ends, he still wants to continue serving his community.

“I’m just really excited about our future,” said Elefante. “There’s a lot of challenges ahead, but I feel like my knowledge of growing up in this area will help me work with the voters.”

He said during his campaign trail, he knocked on over 8,000 homes and homeowners expressed to him concerns with crime, housing, and the economy.

One of his top priorities is getting more resources for public safety officers.

“How can we inter woven all that and connect that with our community with community policing team, neighborhood security watch, and people just being on the lookout,” said Elefante.

Misalucha and Elefante have known each other for nearly a decade.

“Regardless of what happens on the outcome of the primary election, I know that the community will have someone good to represent them for Senate District 16,” said Elefante.

“And whoever wins, I think the community will be in good hands,” said Misalucha.

The winner will run against Republican Patricia Beekman in the Nov. 8 general election.

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