Tulsi Gabbard might be saving taxpayers money with her resignation, but her vacancy on the Honolulu City Council raises many more questions about the future of the government body, the mayoral race and, of course, the $5.26 billion Honolulu rail project.
Gabbard, who is the favorite in the race to take over Mazie Hirono’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, has about two years left on her council term. She needed to resign Thursday in order to make sure her District 6 council seat is on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot.
This means the city won’t need to spend money on a special election, which could cost upwards of $150,000.
“I expect it to be a very crowded race and a very lively one,” Gabbard said. “That’s a good reason why this election should be held in conjunction with the general election because with a special, not only is there the added cost, but it’s an absentee (ballot) only, so this way there will be added participation (and) higher voter turnout.”