After heated campaign season, Bissen ousts incumbent Victorino to win race for Maui mayor
WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Retired Judge Richard Bissen has clinched the win for Maui County mayor, beating incumbent Michael Victorino after a contentious campaign season.
After a second printout, results showed Bissen securing more than 20,000 votes — or nearly 58% — while Victorino received roughly 14,000 votes — or 40%.
Newcomer Bissen is a former prosecuting attorney and retired judge. He ousts Victorino, who has been the mayor of Maui County since January 2019. Before that, he served as a councilmember from 2006 to 2017.
“The current administration has had 14 years to try to figure out or try to do. It hasn’t happened yet. People I think are frustrated,” Bissen said.
Meanwhile, Victorino thanked his supporters on Tuesday night.
“The people have spoken and I accept the results,” he said.
Traditionally, it’s difficult to beat a sitting mayor.
“Incumbents have real advantages,” said Dick Mayer, a political analyst on Maui. “One is they have name recognition. They’re in office for several years, so they have a lot of name recognition that goes out.”
But it turns out that Maui politics are not so traditional.
“In Maui, we have some interesting situations because incumbents have not always won,” Mayer said.
Out of Maui’s past four mayors, only one was re-elected — Alan Arakawa — when he ran for mayor the second time in 2011. Arakawa only served one term when he first ran for mayor in 2003.
“We’ve had now three cases,” Mayer said.
“Kimo Apana, Charmaine Tavares and Alan Arakawa — all of whom lost after one term.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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