No Vote… No Complain

This article has been updated.

Earlier this month, we celebrated America’s founding and the freedoms associated with democracy. Perhaps our most important freedom is our right and responsibility to vote. In Hawai‘i, the August 11 Primary Election is right around the corner, with absentee ballots already arriving in the mail.

For Maui residents, this election offers many important and contested races.

The most significant local race is the Mayor’s election. Current Mayor Alan Arakawa is term-limited and three seasoned Councilmembers (current Councilmembers Elle Cochran and Don Guzman and former Councilmember Michael Victorino) lead the pack to replace him, with the top two from the Primary facing off in November’s general election.

The governor’s race is also hotly contested, with incumbent Governor David Ige facing a tough challenge from Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa who at one time held a significant lead in an early media poll. Recent published polls have Gov. Ige either ahead or close behind.

The County Council will lose not only Cochran and Guzman but also Council Chair Mike White and Council Vice Chair Robert Carroll.

In the State Legislature, former House Speaker Joseph Souki, who held the Wailuku house seat for nearly four decades, has retired while State Representative Mark Kaniela Saito Ing who held the South Maui House Seat for a brief six years has moved to O‘ahu to run for the Congressional seat vacated by Hanabusa. All of Maui’s incumbent State legislators who are up for re-election (State Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran is in the middle of a four-year term and is not on the ballot) face opposition.

While the registration deadline passed on July 12, eligible residents can still register to vote on the same day at either the early Walk-In voting place (Velma McWayne Santos Community Center on Maui, and the Mitchell Pauole Center on Molokai) or your poll on Election Day. So you really have no excuses not to vote. As the saying goes, No vote, No Complain.

Here’s a very brief guide as to who is running.

Elle Cochran

The Race for Maui Mayor
Elle Cochran, Don Guzman, and Michael Victorino have the most name recognition and campaign funds to effectively run a three-island campaign.

Cochran has held the West Maui seat since 2011. She has chaired the Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee for the duration of her time on the Council. She is also Vice Chair of the Water Resources Committee. Cochran is the Founder of the Save Honolua Coalition, a founding member of FACE Maui, a board member of Waiola Church, and president of Maui Unite, which monitors, advises and limits development on Maui. Cochran has worked in the hospitality industry and is a co-owner with her husband Wayne of Maui Surfboards.

Don S. Guzman

Guzman has held the Kahului seat since 2013. He is the current Chair of the Parks, Recreation, Energy, and Legal Affairs committee and previously served as Vice-Chair of the Council; Chair of the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture, and Recreation Committee; and Chair of the Committee of the Whole. Guzman is a former Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (2000–2005) and has been in private practice since 2005. He served as president of the United Filipino Council of Hawai‘i and as Event Chair of the Maui celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Filipinos in Hawai‘i.

Michael Victorino

Guzman and his wife Dr. Rose Guzman have three children: Reese, Nealon, and Andrew.

Victorino served for ten years (2007–2016) on the County Council, holding the Wailuku seat. He served as Presiding Officer Pro Tempore of the council, Chair of the Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Vice-Chair of the Water Resources Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Land Use Committee. He is an Insurance Advisor for Mutual Underwriters, was Supreme Warden of the Knights of Columbus, Fair Director (1997–2005) for the Maui County Fair Association, Chairman of the Board of Water Supply, and coached soccer and baseball. He is married to Joycelyn and they have two sons: Michael, Jr. and Shane.

The other aspirants for the Mayor’s office are former candidates Beau Hawkes (Founder of The Maui Wowie Bootube) and Ori Kopelman (author and founder of a Silicon Valley management consulting firm) and first-time candidates Alec Hawley and Laurent Zahnd.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa

The Governor’s Race
Until four years ago when State Senator David Ige soundly defeated Governor Neil Abercrombie, no incumbent Hawai‘i governor had lost in the Democratic party primary. An early poll that showed Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa with a very large lead suggested Ige could face the same outcome as Abercrombie.

Governor David Ige

Ige, an engineer, served in the State Senate (1995–2014) where he chaired the Ways & Means Committee and also served in the State House (1985–1995). He and his wife Dawn have three grown children who live on the mainland. Ige has received the endorsements of HSTA, United Public Workers, UNITE HERE! Local 5, Ironworkers Local 365, Plasters & Cement Masons, Local 630, as well as HAPA, the Sierra Club and Americans for Democratic Action. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former Governor John Waihee have endorsed Ige. Ige has touted progress in terms of housing development, reducing the homeless population and installing air conditioning in 1,000 classrooms. Ige has painted Hanabusa as part of the Old Boy Network and revisited claims about a developer’s tax credit for Hanabusa’s West O‘ahu community that, in part, was used to spur development of the Disney Aulani Hotel at the Ko Olina Resort.

Hanabusa, an attorney, is currently the U.S. Congresswoman for the 1st Congressional District (2010–2014, 2016–2018) and previously served as a State Senator (1998–2010), including a stint as State Senate President. She is married to former State Sheriff John Souza III. Hanabusa received endorsements from HGEA, ILWU Local 142, Carpenters Union, UHPA, IBEW Locals 1186, 1260, and 1357, Operating Engineers Local 3, Laborers Local 368, Hawai‘i Building & Construction Trades Council, Painters District 50, the State of Hawai‘i Organization of Police Officers, the Hawai‘i Fire Fighters Association and the AFL-CIO, as well as the Patsy T. Mink PAC. Hanabusa has also received the endorsements of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, former Lt.

Josh Green for Lt. Governort

Governor Shan Tsutsui, and former Governors George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano (both of whom previously supported Ige during his race against Abercrombie). Hanabusa has harped on Ige’s leadership skills, pointing to the false missile alert in January and his testy relationship with the leadership of the Hawai‘i State Legislature, who have all endorsed Hanabusa.

Kim Coco Iwamoto for Lt. Governor

Other Democratic party candidates: Ernest Caravalho, health insurance employee, USAF veteran; Wendell Ka‘ehu‘ae‘a, businessman, Navy veteran; Richard Kim, retired telecom worker, artist; and Van Tanabe.

Steve Lipscomb for Lt. Governor

Voters selecting a Republican party ticket will see some familiar names, with retired USMC Colonel John Carroll and current State House Minority Leader Andria Tupola leading the pack, which includes former State Assistant Superintendent of Education Ray L’Heureux and sheet metal worker Michael Powers.

There is only one Green party candidate: a public access TV producer Jim Brewer.

If one of the following Nonpartisan candidates receive at least ten percent of the vote or the same number of votes as a party nominee, his or her name will appear on the ballot for the November General Election: Selina Blackwell, day spa owner, massage therapist; Link El; and Terrence Teruya, transit worker.

Jeremy Low for Lt. Governor

The Lt. Governor’s Race
In Hawai‘i, candidates for the Lt. Governor run separately from the Goveim Coco Iwamoto for Lt. Governorrnor during the Primary Election but team up during the General Election. With Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui’s abrupt resignation in January and former Attorney General Doug Chin who moved up constitutionally to take Tsutsui’s place deciding to run for Congress, the seat is wide open. Although the official duties of the Lt. Governor are quite sparse, this office has often been a stepping stone to the Governor’s race (Ariyoshi, Waihe‘e, Cayetano) or U.S. Senate (Schatz, Hirono).

For the Democrats, the race features three State Senators, a Mayor, and a former Board of Education member.

Will Espero for Lt. Governor
Bernard Carvalho for Lt. Governor

Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho, a former City Parks Director and former pro football player is term-limited. State Senators Will Espero, Josh Green, and Jill Tokuda want to move to the Fifth Floor of the Capitol. Former State Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto, who garnered 102,995 votes in her last BOE election in 2010, seeks to become the first transsexual Lt. Governor.
Republicans will get to choose between Steve Lipscomb, a businessman, retired USAF officer, and Afghanistan War veteran; Jeremy Low, a research assistant and former legislative aide; and Marissa Dipasupil Kerns, a businesswoman.

Kauanoe Bantangan for House Dist. 9

The Green Party’s candidate is Renee Ing, a retired program director for the City and County of Honolulu Parks Department.

Jill Tokuda for Lt. Governor

Non-partisan candidates Ernest Magaoay, a bank manager, or Paul Robotti will need a 10% showing to get on the ballot for the November General Election.

The State House and State Senate Races
All nine Maui legislators are Democrats, with all State Representatives and the two State Kauanoe Bantangan for House Dist. 9 Senators up for re-election facing challengers.

Kyle Yamashita for State House Dist. 12

A number of legislative seats will be settled in the Democratic Primary. House Districts 8 (Wailuku) and 12 (Upcountry) feature winner-take-all elections, with two others (House Districts 9 (Kahului) and 11 (South Maui)) potentially being another winner-take-all if the Nonpartisan candidate fails to garner at least 10% of the vote. Senate District 7 (East Maui-Molokai-Lāna‘i) also features a winner-take-all in the Democratic primary.

The Rematch – House District 12 (Spreckelsville, Pukalani, Makawao, Kula, Kēōkea, ‘Ulupala-kua, and Parts of Kahului)
Incumbent State Representative Kyle Yamashita is the senior member of Maui’s House delegation, having been elected since 2004. He also holds the key position of negotiating the Capitol Improvement Project budget for the powerful House Finance committee, influencing every infrastructure project in the State and steering millions of dollars to Maui for schools (such as the King Kekaulike High School Performing Arts Center), highways, harbors, airports and hospitals.

Tiare Lawrence for State House Dist. 12

Tiare Lawrence, employed as a community organizer for the Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action, has been visible on a number of public issues involving highway coastal erosion on the West Side. In 2016, Lawrence came to within 352 votes of defeating Yamashita, receiving 2,411 votes to Yamashita’s 2,763 votes, with Yamashita’s margin of victory at 6.4%. (There were 282 blank votes and 2 overvotes.)

Melissah Shishido for Senate Dist. 6

The Rematch II—Senate District 6 (South and West Maui)
In the Democratic Primary, incumbent State Senator Rosalyn Baker is rematched with her 2014 opponent, Terez Amato. The winner will face off in the November General Election against Green Party candidate Melissah Shishido, who taught high school students on O‘ahu for twenty-one years.

Terez Amato for Senate Dist. 6

Baker has served in the State Senate from 1993–1998 and from 2002 to present. She was previously in the State House (1988–1993). Currently the Chair of the influential Senate Consumer Protection, Commerce and Health committee, Baker successfully passed a bill addressing the Front Street Apartment controversy and a broad package of bills to address Opioid misuse. Baker has also worked to improve highways such as the Lahaina Bypass and secure funding for the new Kīhei High School.

Amato, who has listed her occupation as Advocate for People of Hawai‘i, is a critic of the now-closed HC&S and its cane burning. A single mother of four, she has been active with the Sierra Club, Maui Farmers Union, and Surfrider Foundation. In 2014, Amato came within 416 votes of unseating Baker. Amato received 2,213 votes to Baker’s 2,699 votes, with Baker’s margin of victory at 9.5%. (There were 216 blank votes and 5 overvotes.)

Winner Take All I – State House 8 (Wailuku, Waikapū, Waiehu, Pu‘uohala, Kahakuloa and Waihe‘e)
The most competitive seat is the four-way battle to replace longtime Representative Joseph Souki who held the Central Maui post for nearly four decades (1982–2018).

Troy Hashimoto for State House Dist. 8

Troy Hashimoto, appointed by Governor David Ige, completed the 2018 legislative session and points to his work in the final month to secure Capital Improvement Project funds for roof repairs at Baldwin High School and security cameras at ‘Īao Intermediate School. Previously, Hashimoto served seven years as executive assistant to Maui County Council Chair Mike White and was the Maui County Democratic Party Chair from 2013 to 2017.

Justin Hughey for State House Dist. 8

Justin Hughey is a special education teacher at King Kamehameha III Elementary Troy Hashimoto for State Housein Lahaina. He has served as the State Vice President of the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association since 2015. He was previously the chair of Hawai‘i’s Democratic Party Education Caucus.

Dain Kane for State House Dist. 8

Dain Kane was elected to the Maui County Council (Wailuku-Waihe‘e-Waikapū) from 1998–2006, serving as Council Chair as well as Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee. He is currently a teacher at ‘Īao Intermediate School, owns a consulting business, and for the last seven years, has been President of his homeowners’ association.

Mary Wagner for State House Dist. 8

Mary Wagner is a Manager in the Information Technology Services Division of the County of Maui. For 15 years, she served in the Maui Police Department, where she was the first civilian manager of the Records and Identification Section and Information Technology Section. Wagner is HGEA’s state president for bargaining Unit 13, which includes scientific and professional members. She is also an officer of the Kehalani Community Association Board.

Winner Take All II – Senate District 7 (East Maui, Upcountry, Molokai and Lāna‘i)
Senate District 7 is expected to have less drama than Senate District 6 and House Districts 8 and 12.

Incumbent J. Kalani English has held the seat since 2000, after serving on the County Council from 1997–2000. He is currently the Senate Majority Leader where he led the push for measures addressing sustainability and climate change challenges, including a State corollary of the Paris Accords rejected by the Trump Administration. English faces Gayla Ann Haliniak-Lloyd and Michael Keolamau Tengan.

Preservationist Haliniak-Lloyd of Kaunakakai has been involved with restoration of the historic Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove on Molokai and is president of the Kalama‘ula Homestead Association. She is also a member of the Maui County Cost of Government Commission.

Kula resident Tengan is the Co-Owner/Lead Consultant for Evolutionary (Light) Alchemy. He was the previous CEO/Lead Personal Trainer for PRIME Fitness and also was a Co-Founder/Program Director of Sweet Annie.

Justin Woodson for House Dist. 9

Maybe Winner Take All I – House District 9 (Kahului, Pu‘unēnē, Old Sand Hills and Maui Lani)
Incumbent Justin H. Woodson has held the House seat since his appointment in 2013. Woodson is the current chairperson of the House Education Committee. He has advocated for cooling the public schools and also helped to establish the Hawai‘i Promise Scholarship Program which provides for free community college for qualified residents. A Past President of the Young Democrats of Hawai‘i, Woodson and his wife Stacy Suyat Woodson have four children.

First-time candidate Kelson Kauanoe Batangan is a former Staff Assistant to U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, a former Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and a former substitute teacher at his alma mater Kamehameha Schools Maui. He holds degrees from Stanford, Columbia University and Tokyo University. Batangan recently joined the Boards of the Tri-Isle Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce.

Andrew V. Kayes, a physician, must win the legally required number of votes in the Primary to appear on the November ballot as a non-partisan. If Kayes does not, then the seat will be filled by the winner as between Woodson and Batangan.

Maybe Winner Take All II – House District 11 (South Maui)
With incumbent Mark Kaniela Saito Ing living on O‘ahu, the South Maui House seat features a race between Democrats Don Couch, Ollie Myrick and Tina Wildberger. Daniel Kanahele, a former Vice President and Director of Maui Meadows Neighborhood Association, must win the legally required number of votes in the Primary to appear on the November ballot as a non-partisan. If Kanahele does not, then the Couch-Myrick-Wildberger winner gets the seat.

Don Couch for House Dist. 11

Don Couch served three terms on the County Council (South Maui), where he was chair of the Planning Committee. He is currently an Executive Assistant to Mayor Alan Arakawa. Couch is a Past Board Member of Kīhei Community Association, Past President and Board Member of the Boys & Girls Club of Maui, Past Chair and Member of the Maui County Board of Ethics, and a founding member of Kīhei’s Fourth Friday Town Party.

Ollie Myrick for House Dist. 11

Ollie “Lee” Myrick is a former UH football scout team member and Army veteran. In 1997 he helped establish the South Maui Youth Basketball League and has been coaching Maui youth for over 20 years, in addition to coaching NFL Flag Football. He is a former concert promoter and has been serving as a Special Education Paraprofessional.

Tina Wildberger for House Dist. 11

Tina Wildberger is the owner of Kīhei Ice, Inc. and in 2016 was in the inaugural class of the Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action Kuleana Academy. She worked with Maui Tomorrow Foundation to put pressure on the Department of Health to better enforce controlled burn permits during the end of the HC&S sugar plantation. Wildberger also served on the Board of the Western Ice Association and helped to start the Kīhei Fourth Fridays.

State House 10 (West Maui, Mā‘alaea, and North Kīhei)
Although each of the three candidates do not face any opposition in the primary, they still need to vote for themselves to ensure they move on to the General. Incumbent Democrat Angus McKelvey has been in office since 2006 and will face Republican Chayne Marten for the fourth time. Green candidate Jennifer Mather is also in the race.

State House 13 (Ha‘ikū, Hāna, Kaupō, Kīpahulu, Nahiku, Pā‘ia, Kaho‘olawe, Lāna‘i, Molokai, Molokini)
Incumbent Lynn DeCoite, who was appointed in 2015 to serve the unexpired term of the late Mele Carroll and was elected in 2016, will face fellow Democrat John-Bull English. The winner will face Green Party candidate Nick Nikhilananda in the November General election.

DeCoite is the current Vice Chair of the Finance Committee and Vice Chair of the Agriculture Committee. She and her husband Russell own and operate L&R Farms Enterprises, LLC where they raise the famous Molokai purple sweet potato. DeCoite previously served on the Molokai Homestead Farmers Alliance (2006–2015), Farm Service Agency (2007–2015) and the Hawai‘i State Board of Agriculture (2012–2015).

English is a small business owner and goat farmer and a U.S. Army veteran. He is a former teacher at the Waikīkī Youth Homeless Shelter and the Hawai‘i Youth Correctional Facility.

Nikhilananda has run for the County Council six times and once each for U.S. Congress and the State House. He is a former Producer/Host of Maui Talks-TV which aired on Akakū. He was also a member of the Maui County Board of Variances and Appeals and the Maui County Mayor’s Task Force on Higher Education.

The Council
With the Council races (like the Mayor’s race) being nonpartisan races, the top two vote-getters (regardless whether one gets more than 50%) will move on to the general election on November 6. Where there are only two candidates for a race, such as the Wailuku (incumbent Alika Atay versus former Councilwoman Alice Lee), Lāna‘i (incumbent G. Riki Hokama versus Gabe Johnson), East Maui (Claire Kamalu Carroll versus Shane Sinenci), Upcountry (incumbent Yuki Lei Sugimura versus Hannibal Starbuck) and South Maui (incumbent Kelly Takaya King versus Zandra Amaral Crouse) council races, the candidates will not appear on the ballot during the August Primary election and go directly on the November general election.

Many will be keeping an eye on—with great interest—the Kahului Council race with Mayor Alan Arakawa, squaring off with Natalie “Tasha” Kama, and Debra Kaiwi (not shown).

Current Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa (2002–2006, 2010–2018) is seeking a return to the County Council where he served from 1994–2002. During his time on the Council, he was Chair of the Planning, Parks and Land Use committees. Prior to elective office, he was a supervisor in the wastewater division of the Department of Public Works.

Debra Kaiwi is currently employed by the Department of Education as a Behavioral Health Specialist at King Kekaulike High School. She previously served as a probation officer for the Second Circuit Court and created the District Court Probation office.

Natalie Kama is a member of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities and also active with Faith Action for Community Equity. She has immersed herself in Native Hawaiian issues, founded the Waiohuli/Kēōkea Hawaiian Homestead Association in 1988 and is a former member of the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Commission.

Trinitte Furtado is an administrative assistant to Councilmember Alika Atay and also owns Pono Huli Design, a graphic and web design company. She was one of the plaintiffs in the Stop Cane Burning lawsuit against HC&S and is making her second attempt at elective office. In her 2016 race against Council Chair White, Furtado received 38.5% of the votes (20,398), losing by 5,373 votes.

Michael Molina is currently an Executive Assistant to Mayor Alan Arakawa. Molina was previously a five-term Councilmember (2001–2011) and served in a number of capacities, including Vice Chair of the Council. He introduced the bill to ban plastic bags in the County. In his 2014 race against White, Molina received 35.7% of the votes (16,398), losing by 6,644 votes.
Adam Borowiec, a Makawao resident, is also in the race.

Incumbent Stacy Crivello has served on the Council since 2013 and is the current Chair of the Housing, Human Services & Transportation Committee and Vice-chair of the Policy, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee. Prior to her election, Crivello served on the Maui County Charter Commission and was a founding member of the Molokai Land Trust.

Cora Caparida-Schnackenberg’s daytime job is as a Multi Systematic Therapist with Parents and Children Together. Her night time job is with ARC of Maui as a Resident Assistant, working with adults with disabilities. She is active with the Gospel Shoes of Christ Jesus Church, serving as a member of the Board of Directors.

Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, who identifies her occupation as a Community organizer and advocate, is a former Executive Assistant for Councilmember Elle Cochran and recently worked as a Lead Advocate for the Hawai‘i Center for Food Safety. In the 2016 elections, Rawlins-Fernandez received 18,496 votes (34.9%) to Crivello’s 22,763 votes (43.0%), a difference of 4,267.

West Maui
Ernest Balinbin, Owner/Executive Chef of Nalu Grindz and Intimate Catering, is making his second run for office. He received 12,575 votes (23.7%) in his 2016 attempt to unseat Cochran, losing by 19,395 votes.

Frederick Nava, president-owner of Media Systems Inc. and a Veteran, is trying again for the Council seat. In 2014, he received 4,920 votes (17.4%) and came in third in the primary behind Cochran (who received 11,321 votes) and Ka‘ala Buenconsejo (who received 7,821 votes).

Tamara Paltin, an Ocean Safety Officer III for the County of Maui, ran for Mayor against Alan Arakawa in 2014 and received 18,162 votes (39.5%), losing to Arakawa by 7,273 votes. She is a co-founder of the Save Honolua Coalition and a steward for HGEA unit 14 (formerly 3).

Other Races of Note
U.S. Senate
Democrat incumbent U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono is seeking her second sixth year term. She faces 11 challengers—8 Republicans and 3 Nonpartisan candidates—but is expected to easily win re-election. From 2007–2013, she served as U.S. Representative for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District. She is the first elected woman U.S. Senator from Hawai‘i, the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S Senate, and the nation’s first Buddhist Senator. The Japan-born Hirono (the only immigrant in the U.S. Senate) has been a sharp and vocal critic of the President’s immigration policy.

Challengers include Consuelo Anderson (R); George Berish (R), businessman and Vietnam War veteran; Ron Curtis (R); Rocque de la Fuente (R), businessman; Robert Helsham (R), businessman and Army Veteran; Michael Hodgkiss (R); Eddie Pirkowski (R), businessman; and Thomas White (R). If they get the legal number of votes in the Primary, one of the nonpartisan candidates—Charles Haverty, a home inspection contractor; Matthew Maertens or Arturo Reyes, a physician and Navy veteran will also be on the November ballot.

Congressional District 2
For the Congressional seat representing Maui County and the rest of the Neighbor Islands and rural O‘ahu, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D) faces a Primary challenge from activist newcomers Sherry Alu Campagna and Anthony Tony Austin. Gabbard has built a national presence due to her support of Bernie Sanders and her appearances on national news outlets but again faces another Primary Challenge from the left in both Alu and Austin. Gabbard, a military veteran, is both the first Samoan American from Hawai‘i and the first Hindu member in the U.S. Congress. Alu Campagna, an environmental scientist, has been endorsed by the HSTA, with the teachers’ union citing Gabbard’s apparent support of the Syria regime. HGEA, ILWU Local 142 and most other major unions back Gabbard. Austin is a Small business owner/business consultant. The winner of the Democratic Primary will face singer/author Brian Evans (R).

Honolulu City Council
Filipinos on O‘ahu will be watching several Honolulu City Council races to see if history will be made with Filipinos constituting a majority on the Honolulu City Council.

Currently, there are four Filipinos on the nine-member Council: Brandon Elefante, Joey Manahan, Kymberly Marcos Pine, and Ron Menor.

Elefante is up for re-election and is facing a challenge from Kelly Kitashima.

Seeking a return to elective office is former State Senate President Robert Bunda, who is one of four candidates running for the seat being vacated by current Council Chair Ernie Martin, who is term-limited.

If Hawai‘i Construction Alliance Executive Director Tyler Dos-Santos Tam defeats incumbent Carol Fukunaga and two others, and the other Filipinos are also successful, there could be six Filipinos on the nine-member Honolulu City Council.

Congressional District 1
Filipinos on O‘ahu will also be watching if former State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim will win the Democratic primary and perhaps be the first Filipina elected to Congress. In the Democratic primary, Kim faces former Congressman and hotel executive Ed Case (a late entry into the race who has not won an election since challenging the late U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka in 2006), current Lt. Gov and former Attorney General Doug Chin, and Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin. Community activist Sam Puletasi, and two younger State Representatives— former Republican Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto and Mark Kaniela Saito Ing make up the rest of the field.

The Democratic primary winner will face the winner of the Republican primary between former state legislator Cam Cavasso, business man Raymond Vinole—as well the Green Party’s Zachary Burd and Libertarian Michelle Tippens. If they get the legal number of votes in the Primary, either John Cipolla or Calvin Griffin will appear on the ballot as a Nonpartisan.
With so many candidates for the various elections (a Maui voter will have 2 federal races, 3 or 4 State races, and 5 County races on the Primary Election ballot), there’s a lot to choose from. Those elected will make decisions on your behalf affecting taxes, schools, highways, agriculture, culture, arts… you name it.

If you haven’t registered because you’re afraid to be called for jury duty, please note that voter registration lists are not the sole source for jury duty lists. Jury lists are also derived from driver license and state ID renewals and filing tax returns. As noted earlier, for the first time, same day registration will be implemented so get out and vote.
Voting is your opportunity to make your voice heard!