Rail Issue Could Decide Mayor Race

Rail Issue Could Decide Mayor Race

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After decades of planning, numerous studies and several city administrations, the fate of Honolulu's rail transit system could be decided by the person who voters pick on Saturday for Honolulu mayor.

And with less than 24 hours left in this pivotal race, all three major candidates spent the day sign waving, shaking hands and canvassing neighborhoods in a last-minute attempt to put them over the edge.

A Hawaii News Now Star-Advertiser poll says former Gov. Ben Cayetano is the front runner in the race. He opposes rail and says he has the support of a broad coalition of Hawaii's voters.

"This one is special," Cayetano said. "What I've found is we have Republicans, we have Democrats, conservatives. We have liberals. We have independents."

Current Mayor Peter Carlisle says he offers a vision for Honolulu that includes less traffic congestion and a brand new, redeveloped urban core.

"My appeal is we can be stuck in the last century and not do anything and we can continue to sprawl outward," Carlisle said. "We can be wishy-washy or you can have a general game plan."

Former Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who also supports rail, says his campaign is peaking at the right time.

"I can feel the momentum. i can really feel it in the past couple of weeks," Caldwell said. "I feel good about where we are. We are going to close really strong I think and I look forward to tomorrow."

This year's primary is one of the most expensive in city history. Over three-point-five million dollars have been spent so far.

A candidate needs more than 50 percent of the vote to win the election outright. If that doesn't happen, there will be a run-off in November between the two leading vote getters.

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