Seven Democrats apply for 9th House District seat

WAILUKU — The Maui County Democratic Party has received seven applications from Democrats in good standing to fill the House District 9 seat vacated by Gil Keith-Agaran, who was appointed to the Central Maui state senate seat on Monday.

The applicants are: James “Kimo” Apana, Anthony Edington, Renee-May Kehau Filimoe’atu, Alan Fukuyama, Kallie Keith-Agaran, Joe Pontanilla and Justin Woodson.

The applicants reside the 9th District, which includes Kahului, Puunene, Maui Lani and old Sand Hills.

The seven candidates will meet Saturday with the Maui Democratic Party’s District 9 Council, which will make up the official nominating committee.

The committee will allow each candidate to speak for up to 10 minutes, and committee members will be able to vote for up to three candidates, but not for the same person.

Maui Democrats have said that the meeting will not be open to the public.

The top three vote-getters’ names will then be transmitted to the chairmen of the Maui County and the Hawaii Democratic parties. They will then forward the names to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who will make the final selection. He has 60 calendar days following the first day of the vacancy to make an appointment to the House seat.

Abercrombie appointed Keith-Agaran to the Central Maui seat formerly held by Shan Tsutsui, who, as Senate president, was next in line to assume the position of lieutenant governor. Former Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz was appointed Abercrombie to the Hawaii U.S. Senate vacated after the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye on Dec. 17.