Today, Hawaii Governor David Ige named a successor to the late Maui Representative Mele Carroll, who passed away yesterday after recently resigning from office: Molokai farmer Lynn DeCoite.
“I thank the House District 13 Nominating Committee for forwarding three outstanding individuals for consideration and for working so quickly to get the names to me,” Ige said in a Feb. 19 press release from his office. “It’s important that the residents of this district are represented without delay. I’m confident Ms. DeCoite knows the issues facing the district and will listen to her constituents to address their concerns. She has deep roots in the community and is committed to overcoming the challenges by forming partnerships and working collaboratively.”
The district includes East Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kaho’olawe. Thirteen people put in their names to succeed Carroll after she resigned last month, and of those a Democratic Party selection committee chose three candidates to submit to Ige: DeCoite, environmental activist Lucienne De Naie and Molokai invasive species official Lori Buchanan.
According to the governor’s news release, DeCoite lives in Ho’olehua on Molokai. She’s an owner of L&R Farm Enterprises and R.J.’s Snacks as well as co-owner of the V-8 Ranch. “In 2012, she won the First Annual Kaanapali Fresh Best in Show, and in 2007 she won the Maui County Mayor’s Small Business Award,” the news release states.
Since 2012, DeCoite has also been a member of the state Board of Agriculture, but the news release states that she will resign that post.
“I’m deeply honored to serve the community in this capacity,” DeCoite said in the news release. “This is an opportunity for me to help address issues like drought, food gathering and security, emergency response programs, and the promotion of economic development for small and large businesses.”
Watch for the anti-GMO crowd to blow their tops over this one–according to this Honolulu Civil Beat story, one anti-GMO group has called DeCoite a “Monsanto plant” for growing GMO corn.
Photo of Lynn DeCoite courtesy Hawaii Governor’s Office