Familiar Maui Faces Resurface on 2010 Campaign Trail

By Wendy Osher

Some familiar names have surfaced on the campaign trail as election season gets underway on Maui.  While as many as 20 people had pulled papers, only two had filed for candidacy so far, according to the last candidate report issued Thursday, February 11, 2010 by the State Office of Elections.

Board of Education Maui Representative Mary Cochran filed papers to run for the Makawao-Haiku-Paia Council seat that will be vacated by Councilmember Mike Molina, whose term limit expires this year.  Others pulling papers for the seat include: Kahekai Nishiki and Leona Nomura, both of Haiku.

Term limits for Councilmember Jo Anne Johnson also leaves the West Maui seat up for grabs this year.  Five people have already pulled papers for the seat, with Lahaina resident, Alan Fukuyama going one step further by filing papers for the post.  Those pulling papers are: Eve Clute, Eleanora Cochran, Jonah Kapu and Paul Laub.

Other Familiar faces include Former East Maui Councilman Robert Carroll who pulled papers for his old seat; and former candidate Don Couch who pulled papers for the South Maui seat he sought in 2008.

The only incumbent Councilmember to pull papers was Michael Victorino, who currently represents Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu on the County Council.  Those seeking office have until July 20 to file nomination papers.

In the race for Mayor, three people have pulled papers since the Office of Elections opened candidate filing on February 1, 2010.  Those pulling papers include:  Valarie Aquino of Lahaina, Orion Kopelman of Kula and Harold Miller of Kihei.

In the race for the 2nd District U.S. Congressional House seat currently held by Rep. Mazie Hirono, three Maui residents and one Honolulu man have pulled papers.  They are:  Patric Brock (L) of Kihei, Antonio Gimbernat (R) of Makawao, Andrew Von Sonn (N) of Paia, and John Willoughby (R) of Honolulu.

Three Maui residents have pulled papers for House Seats including: Natalie Kama (D) of Wailuku for District 8; Ramon Madden (R) of Lahaina for District 10; and George Fontaine (R) of Kihei for District 11.

The Primary Election is set for September 18 with the General Election on November 2, 2010.

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Governor Lingle Responds to HSTA Furlough Vote

Governor Linda Lingle praised Hawaii’s teachers for ratifying a new contract that will result in 17 unpaid furlough days off, equating to an approximately 8 percent pay cut.

File Photo by Wendy Osher.

File Photo by Wendy Osher.

Lingle said she realizes it is not what teachers, students, and families had hoped or planned for, “but it reflects the state’s economic and fiscal realities.”

“They understand that everyone must make a shared sacrifice to help our state get through this difficult period and for State government to live within its means,” said Lingle.

The state DOE and the Board of Education have been working together to determine how to realize a 14 percent savings imposed by the governor to help close the growing budget shortfall.

There will be two furlough Fridays per month beginning on October 23rd with the exception of three furlough days in the December.

“The furlough days will present challenges, but like other situations, our residents will come together to kokua, and ultimately come up with real, common sense solutions.  Moreover, I know the private sector will jump in to help, especially in the area of day care,” said Lingle.

“I am confident our teachers will remain committed to their students and will find innovative ways to make the best of these challenging circumstances to ensure our children get the best possible education,” Lingle said.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Lingle Statement provided by the Office of the Governor, State of Hawaii)