Though the filing deadline for the Maui County candidates in the 2016 election is still a couple weeks away (June 7), a few races already loom large on the political radar. There are a lot of candidates out there and a ton of issues. But the Kula Community Association wants to help you this Wednesday, May 18 with a candidate forum.
The big races are the two open Maui County Council seats, representing Kula-Pukalani (currently held by Gladys Baisa, who’s termed out) and Wailuku (currently held by Mike Victorino, who’s also termed out). In the Kula-Pukalani race, the forum will include the four candidates: Napua Greig Nakasone, Eric Molina, Stacey Moniz and Yuki Lei Sugimura. Greig Nakasone is a well-known kumu hula, while Moniz heads up the local Women Helping Women chapter and Sugimura is a longtime local Democratic Party official.
The Wailuku seat race is even bigger. It has five candidates, two of which are heavy-hitters: Alika Atay, Joe Blackburn, Dain Kane, Keith Regan and Hana Steel. Blackburn’s twice run for the seat before (he lost both times to Victorino), while Kane previously held the seat for some years before Victorino. Regan is Mayor Alan Arakawa’s current Managing Director and Steel is the county’s former Recycling Coordinator.
The election forum will also include two candidates challenging Council Chairperson Mike White, who represents Makawao and Haiku: Trinette Furtado and Alan Kaufmam, as well as Tiare Lawrence, who’s challenging Kyle Yamashita for the state legislative seat representing Upcountry.
Oh, and if you don’t want to go in person, Akaku will air the forum live on Channel
55 53. The forum runs 6:30-9pm at the Kula Community Center on Wednesday, May 18. For more information, call 808-283-4376.
Ballot box photo: National Museum of American History/Wikimedia Commons