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Left and Right Vie for Mayor’s Seat

Date Posted: 2000-10-21

Naha City’s mayoral election is only one month away. The election, scheduled for Nov. 12, pits conservative Takeshi Onaga, 50, against Michiko Horikawa, 59, who is backed by a coalition of leftist organizations. Conservatives see the upcoming election as their best chance in decades to capture the Naha City mayor’s seat that has been held by leftist parties for the past 32 years. Horikawa is also the first female candidate in the city’s history to vie for the mayor’s post.

As both campaigns intensify as the election day approaches, pundits give Onaga a slight edge. However, both camps admit that in the wake of recent Okinawa Prefecture Assembly elections, the general public seems to be somewhat tired of politics. “It is difficult to get people into pep rallies these days so we have to concentrate on stumping door-to-door and visiting people’s working places,” a backer for Onaga said. Workers with Horikawa’s campaign agree, but say that enthusiasm seems to be at a high level with teachers’ organizations, the traditional backers of leftist campaigns.

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