Memo To 2018 Candidates Who Were Successful In The General Election

Posted on Nov 13, 2018 in Main

November 13, 2018


TO: 2018 Candidates Who Were Successful In The General Election

FROM: Kristin E. Izumi-Nitao, Executive Director
Campaign Spending Commission

SUBJECT: Important Information and Reminders

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission (“Commission”) would like to congratulate you on being elected to serve the people of the State of Hawaii and/or its counties.  We know that this is an exciting and busy time as you prepare to take office, but would like to take this opportunity to remind you of some important information.


Under Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) §11-156, the chief election officer or county clerk is required to deliver certifications of election to the persons elected only after they have filed all of their reports with the Commission and paid all fines assessed by the Commission.  This means that all reports, including but not limited to the Final Election Period Report which is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on Thursday, December 6, 2018, must be electronically filed.  Further, all fines that were assessed by the Commission must be paid.  It is critical that you know when you will be sworn into office, and if that occurs prior to December 6, 2018, you must file this report prior to the date you will be sworn into office as well as pay all fines.[1]  Election officials will not be issuing certificates of election to any candidate until such time as the Commission informs them of compliance with this requirement.


With the exception of partial public funding candidates who must return any and all unused public funds to the Commission by December 6, 2018, any surplus funds remaining in your campaign account after the November 6, 2018 general election must be spent by November 6, 2022 unless a new Organizational Report is filed on or before November 6, 2022.[2]  Campaign funds may also be used as provided in HRS §11-381 or returned to contributors until four (4) years from the date of the election for which the campaign funds were received.  Funds that are not used or returned to contributors shall escheat to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund (“HECF”).  See, HRS §11-384(c).

Based upon the foregoing provisions and our Hawaii Administrative Rules (“HAR”), you may therefore use your campaign funds on any of the following by November 6, 2022:

  • Return contributions to contributors (see, HRS §11-384(c))[3] or pay back loans;
  • For any purpose directly related to your campaign or to any question or issue with which you are directly associated.  This provision includes making reasonable expenditures for a “Mahalo Party” shortly after the General Election and newsletters to supporters as well as gifts “for one or more campaign employees or volunteers . . . of not more than an aggregate of $500 for a two-year office, $1,000 for a four-year non-statewide office, or $1,500 for a four-year statewide office” (see, HRS §11-381(a)(8) and HAR §3-160-43);[4]
  • Purchase or lease consumer goods, vehicles, equipment, and services that provide a mixed benefit; however, you must reimburse your committee for the personal use of these items unless the personal use is de minimus which is defined as 5% or less of the total use of the item in a calendar month and the expenditure for the personal use of the item did not exceed a fair market value of $100 in any one calendar month (see, HRS §11-381(a)(2) & HAR §3-160-45);
  • Donate to any community service, educational, youth, recreational, charitable, scientific, or literary organization up to no more than twice the maximum amount that one person may contribute to your office; however, you will not be able to make this kind of expenditure from the date you file nomination papers for the next election to the date of that general election (see, HRS §11-381(a)(3));
  • Donate to any public school or public library up to no more than twice the maximum amount that one person may contribute to your office (see, HRS §11-381(a)(4));
  • Award scholarships to full-time students attending an institution of higher education or a vocational education school in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential up to no more than twice the maximum amount that one person may contribute to your office; however, you will not be able to make this kind of expenditure from the date of the nomination paper filing deadline for the next election to the date of that general election (see, HRS §11-381(a)(5));
  • Purchase two tickets for each event including a fundraiser held by another candidate or committee (see, HRS §11-381(a)(6));
  • Contribute not more than $25,000 in aggregate in any two-year election period to your political party so long as the contributions are not earmarked for another candidate (see, HRS §11-381(a)(7));
  • If you were an incumbent in this election, pay for “ordinary and necessary expenses” incurred in connection with your duties as an office holder;
  • For expenses to your next subsequent election upon registration with the Commission for that election (see, HRS §11-381(b) and footnote #2); and/or
  • Escheat funds to the HECF (see, HRS §11-384(c)).

Regardless of how you choose to spend your campaign funds, please be mindful that any expenditure of campaign funds must be reported in the appropriate disclosure report and electronically filed with the Commission.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (808) 586-0285.  Thank you for your kokua and commitment to public service.


[1] We understand that the Governor, Lt. Governor, Hawaii County, and Kauai County officials will be sworn-in on December 3, 2018 which is prior to December 6, 2018.  For these candidates, the Final Election Period Report is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.

[2] An Organizational Report need not be filed by an elected official who is a candidate for reelection to the same office in successive elections and has not sought election to any other office during the period between elections.  See, HRS §11-321(e).

[3] If you decide to return contributions to your contributors, it is your choice as to the order of the return of contributions (e.g., last in, last out; first in, first out; pro rata; etc.).

[4] For more examples including prohibited expenses for which your committee will be fined, click here.


This memo applies to the following candidates (55 total):

Candidate Office District County
Ahu-Isa, Lei OHA At-Large
Akaka, Kalei OHA Oahu
Baker, Rosalyn Senate 6
Brower, Tom House 22
Brun, Arthur Kauai Council At-Large Kauai
Cabanilla, Rida House 41
Cachola, Romy House 30
Chock, Sr., Mason Kauai Council At-Large Kauai
Cowden, Felicia Kauai Council At-Large Kauai
DeCoite, Lynn House 13
Elefante, Brandon Honolulu Council 8 Honolulu
Evslin, Luke Kauai Council At-Large Kauai
Fevella, Kurt Senate 19
Green, Josh Lt. Governor
Hashem, Mark House 18
Hokama, Riki Maui Council Lanai Maui
Ige, David Governor
Kagawa, Ross Kauai Council At-Large Kauai
Kahele, Kaialii Senate 1
Kama, Natalie Maui Council Kahului Maui
Kaneshiro, Arryl Kauai Council At-Large Kauai
Kanuha, Dru Senate 3
Kawakami, Derek Mayor Kauai
Kidani, Michelle Senate 18
King, Kelly Maui Council South Maui Maui
Kualii, KipuKai Kauai Council At-Large Kauai
Lee, Alice Maui Council Wailuku Maui
Lee, Brendon OHA At-Large
Lee, Christopher House 51
Lindsey, Carmen OHA Maui
McDermott, Bob House 40
McKelvey, Angus House 10
Molina, Michael Maui Council Makawao Maui
Moriwaki, Sharon Senate 12
Nishihara, Clarence Senate 17
Ohno, Takashi House 27
Okimoto, Val House 36
Onishi, Richard House 3
Ozawa, Trevor Honolulu Council 4 Honolulu
Paltin, Tamara Maui Council West Maui Maui
Perruso, Amy House 46
Quinlan, Sean House 47
Rawlins-Fernandez, Keani Maui Council Molokai Maui
Say, Calvin House 20
Shimabukuro, Maile Senate 21
Sinenci, Shane Maui Council East Maui Maui
Sugimura, Yuki Maui Council Upcountry Maui
Tarnas, David House 7
Thielen, Cynthia House 50
Todd, Christopher House 2
Victorino, Michael Mayor Maui
Villegas, Rebecca Hawaii Council 7 Hawaii
Waihee, John OHA At-Large
Ward, Gene House 17
Yamane, Ryan House 37