August 18, 2022

Dear friends,

It was a short but hard fought battle. In the end, I came up short, placing seventh in a field of 11, which is not good enough to advance to Novemberʻs general election.

On the sweeter side, according to the final vote count, my candidacy garnered 35,211 votes (that number will forever be embedded in my memory). Thatʻs nothing to brush aside and take lightly when we consider that I filed to run on June 6 and others had been campaigning since March. Remarkably, what started out as a few people saying to me, “Shoots! Letʻs do this!” grew to 35,211 votes! Thatʻs kind of a miracle of sorts!

Iʻve learned a lot and grown a lot from this experience. Though the polls may declare me a “loser,” in fact, I actually feel like Iʻm a winner. In the past couple of months, people of solid quality have stepped forward willingly and with hearts full of goodness and joy to support my election. That really means more to me than anything else. And, in the end, this truly was the grassroots campaign I had hoped it would be.

The last news I read indicated that one Trustee At-Large candidate raised over $35,000 for his campaign. Our treasurer is still trying to figure the number out with PayPalʻs practice of withholding donations for two weeks (thatʻs a whole other issue regarding “free float” that needs to be addressed by elected officials) but itʻs looking like we raised a little more than $2,000. In my view, thatʻs quite impressive, given the limits on the amount of donations “we” (actually more like “I”) had set.

Mahalo nui loa to those of you who hustled signatures for my nomination papers; to those who helped by reaching out to family members and friends to urge them to vote for me via word of mouth, email, social media, etc.; to those who wrote endorsement statements; to those who helped post campaign posters in businesses across the paeʻāina; to our treasurer; to those who wrote blog support articles; to those who helped guide free message airing on public access television; to our web support team; to our videographer and to all of you who continued to provide moral support throughout this journey. Your confidence and faith in me has been humbling beyond measure.

May Ke Akua immensely bless all of you.

ʻO wau iho nō me ka haʻahaʻa,

Julian Keikilani Ako

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