Honolulu Mayoral Election 2012

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle lost the Aug. 11 primary election while seeking his first four-year term. It is rare in Hawaii for an incumbent in any office to lose a re-election bid. Carlisle won the office in 2010 after then-Mayor Mufi Hannemann resigned to run for the Democratic nomination for governor. Carlisle completed Hannemann's term.

Carlisle was challenged by former Gov. Ben Cayetano and former city managing director Kirk Caldwell, both of whom go on to the Nov. 6 general election.

Cayetano came in first, with 44 percent of the vote. Caldwell received 29 percent and Carlisle 24 percent.

The position is non-partisan.

The presence of Cayetano in the race has made the contest at least in part a referendum on the Honolulu rail project. Carlisle was a strong advocate of building the 20-mile while Cayetano says he would stop the project. Caldwell is pro-rail, but says he would handle the project differently.

The contest has been marked by intense negative campaigning. A pro-rail group, Pacific Resource Partnership — a consortium of the Carpenters Union and contractors — spent more than $1.3 million through the primary on ads that primarily attacked Cayetano over illegal campaign contributions during his 1998 campaign for governor. Cayetano was never charged and never found to have done anything wrong, but donors who had given money illegally were investigated and some charged and convicted.

Read about the 2010 mayoral election.

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