Maui candidates set for competitive election races
Seven vie for mayor’s seat; all council races contested
A last-minute filer pushed an already crowded race for Maui County mayor to seven candidates Tuesday afternoon — the day of the filing deadline.
Races for the mayor’s office, County Council, state House and Senate were finalized Tuesday in what’s shaping up to be a competitive primary election in several key Maui County races.
All nine council seats will be contested for the second election in a row, while four candidates will vie to replace South Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing and four candidates will seek former Central Maui Rep. and House Speaker Joe Souki’s seat.
“It’s going to be interesting election,” Maui County Clerk Danny Mateo said. “This time around, I think we have a lot more candidates, and for the better part of it, a lot of them are newcomers. . . . A good number of names I’ve never seen on a ballot before.”
This year’s mayoral race will be without an incumbent as Mayor Alan Arakawa leaves office due to term limits. Running to replace Arakawa are: Council Members Elle Cochran and Don Guzman, former Council Member Mike Victorino, repeat candidates Beau Hawkes and Ori Kopelman, tour operator Alec Hawley and Laurent Zahnd, who filed papers Tuesday.
Seven candidates also ran for mayor in the 2014 primary, including Arakawa and Tamara Paltin, who went on to the general election. Hawkes and Kopelman sought the mayor’s office that year but brought in less than 5 percent of the vote combined. Cochran, Guzman and Victorino are the likely frontrunners as current and former council members. Since 1991, every mayor of Maui County has previously served on the council.
Victorino held the Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat from 2007 to 2016, when he stepped down due to term limits. Cochran has held the West Maui residency seat since 2011, while Guzman has served the Kahului area since 2013. Former Council Member Ricordo “Rick” Medina also pulled papers but did not file Tuesday.
“When there’s no incumbent, the field becomes more intense,” Mateo said. “The mayor’s race is going to be really interesting to watch unfold, just because of the cross-section of people running.”
As of Dec. 31, the most recent reporting period for campaign finances, Guzman’s campaign had the most surplus funds with $26,041 (rounding to the nearest dollar). He reported an income subtotal of $53,248, while spending $22,207.
Victorino’s campaign had the second-highest surplus with $20,435. He reported an income subtotal of $43,879 and spent $23,444. Cochran’s campaign had a surplus of $10,132. She reported income of $80,315 and spent $70,183.
Reports for other mayor candidates have not been filed yet. The next spending reports are due July 12, according to the state Campaign Spending Commission.
The departures of Cochran, Guzman, Council Chairman Mike White and Council Vice Chairman Bob Carroll open up four seats on the council. Of those vacant seats, three seats present a three-way race.
Paltin, Ernest Balinbin and Frederick Nava are seeking the West Maui residency seat. Arakawa will run for his old Kahului residency seat against Debra Kaiwi and Natalie “Tasha” Kama. Adam Borowiec, Trinette Furtado and Mike Molina will compete for White’s Makawao-Haiku-Paia residency seat. Carroll’s daughter, Claire Kamalu Carroll, and Shane Sinenci will face off for the East Maui residency seat.
All county voters cast ballots in all nine council races with candidates running in residency districts. The primary election Aug. 11 will whittle the number of candidates in the council and mayor’s races down to two for the general election on Nov. 6.
Meanwhile in the state Legislature, three races include all Democrats and thus will be decided in the primary. The race for Senate District 7, which covers East Maui, Upcountry, Molokai and Lanai, pits incumbent Sen. J. Kalani English against Gayla Ann Haliniak-Lloyd of Kaunakakai and Michael Tengan of Kula.
In the race for Souki’s old House District 8 seat, which covers Wailuku, Waikapu, Puuohala, Kahakuloa and Waihee, incumbent Troy Hashimoto will face Justin Hughey, Dain Kane and Mary Wagner. Gov. David Ige appointed Hashimoto in April to replace Souki, who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
In House District 12, which includes Upcountry, Spreckelsville and parts of Kahului, incumbent Rep. Kyle Yamashita will defend his seat against Tiare Lawrence — a race that was decided by 352 votes in 2016.
All districts except for Ing’s feature an incumbent. Ing is running to succeed U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s urban Oahu seat in the U.S. House. She is running for governor.
The candidates hoping to replace Ing in House District 11, South Maui, are: former Council Member Don Couch, Daniel Kanahele, Ollie Myrick and Tina Wildberger. All are running as Democrats except for Kanahele, who is running as a nonpartisan.
Meanwhile, one state House candidate is facing charges of sexual assault in a case that is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 17. Chayne Marten, who filed papers May 30 to run as a Republican against incumbent West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey, was arrested in October 2016 on an indictment charging him with five counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a minor. Marten has pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released from jail last May after posting a $650,000 bail.
In the 2016 general election just weeks after his arrest, Marten received 1,700 votes, or 24.1 percent, to McKelvey’s 4,716 votes, or 66.7 percent.
Along with McKelvey and Marten, Green Party candidate Jen Mather will be running to represent House District 10.
On Tuesday, Selina Blackwell, who lists a Lahaina post office box, also filed papers to run as a nonpartisan candidate for governor, Mateo reported. Kihei resident Edward Pirkowski filed papers to run as a Republican for incumbent Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono’s seat in Congress.
Mateo said that, this year, early walk-in and absentee voting will relocate from the Office of the County Clerk in the county building to the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku.
“We had well over 5,000 absentee walk-in voters, and this building is not equipped to handle that kind of numbers,” Mateo explained.
For the primary election, the site will be open to voters from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 30 to Aug. 9. For the general election, it will be open Oct. 23 to Nov 3.
The voter registration deadline for the primary election is July 12.
“There’s a gazillion ways you can vote,” Mateo said. “If you need help, just give us a call, and we’ll be happy to assist.”
For more information, call the Office of the County Clerk at 270-7748 or visit mauicounty.gov/1965/Elections-Division.
* Colleen Uechi can be reached at email@example.com.
MAUI COUNTY COMPLETE
Candidates file nomination papers
The lineup of candidates seeking office for the upcoming election was finalized Tuesday with the passing of the filing deadline. What follows is an alphabetical listing of candidates — by party in state races. State offices are partisan, so party designations are included. County offices are nonpartisan.
The primary election is Aug. 11. In county nonpartisan races, the top two vote-getters will move on to the general election on Nov. 6. For state races, the top vote-getters by party will make it to the general election.
Senate District 6
(South and West Maui)
• Terez Amato, Democrat
• Roz Baker*, Democrat
• Melissah Shishido, Green
Senate District 7
(East Maui, Upcountry, Molokai and Lanai)
• J. Kalani English*, Democrat
• Gayla Ann Haliniak-Lloyd, Democrat
• Michael Tengan, Democrat
House District 8
(Wailuku, Waikapu, Waiehu, Puuohala, Kahakuloa and Waihee)
• Troy Hashimoto**, Democrat
• Justin Hughey, Democrat
• Dain Kane, Democrat
• Mary Wagner, Democrat
House District 9
(Kahului, Puunene, Old Sand Hills and Maui Lani)
• Kelson Batangan, Democrat
• Justin Woodson*, Democrat
• Andrew Kayes, Nonpartisan
House District 10
(West Maui, Maalaea and north Kihei)
• Chayne Marten, Republican
• Jen Mather, Green Party
• Angus McKelvey*, Democrat
House District 11
• Don Couch, Democrat
• Ollie Myrick, Democrat
• Tina Wildberger, Democrat
• Daniel Kanahele, Nonpartisan
House District 12
(Upcountry, Spreckelsville and parts of Kahului)
• Tiare Lawrence, Democrat
• Kyle Yamashita*, Democrat
House District 13
(East Maui, Molokai and Lanai)
• Lynn DeCoite*, Democrat
• John-Bull English, Democrat
• Nick Nikhilananda, Green Party
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Maui resident trustee
• Jonah Kapu
• Carmen Hulu Lindsey*
• Elle Cochran
• Don Guzman
• Beau Hawkes
• Alec Hawley
• Ori Kopelman
• Mike Victorino
• Laurent Zahnd
Maui County Council
• Claire Carroll
• Shane Sinenci
• Ernest Balinbin
• Frederick Nava
• Tamara Paltin
• Alika Atay*
• Alice Lee
• Alan Arakawa
• Debra Kaiwi
• Natalie “Tasha” Kama
• Zandra Amaral Crouse
• Kelly King*
• Trinette Furtado
• Mike Molina
• Hannibal Starbuck
• Yuki Lei Sugimura*
• Riki Hokama*
• Gabe Johnson
• Cora Caparida-Schnackenberg
• Stacy Crivello*
• Keani Rawlins-Fernandez