With the primary election just days away, some Maui candidates have been spending large amounts on advertising and other campaign expenses, according to the latest round of election financial reports that were due last night.
Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, who is seeking re-election to the state House District 9 seat, has out-raised and out-spent his opponent, longtime Maui County Council Member Joe Pontanilla.
Keith-Agaran reported spending $38,595 during the July 1 to 27 reporting period - more than Pontanilla has spent for the entire election cycle.
Almost half of Keith-Agaran's most recent expenses - about $16,800 - was spent on newspaper and radio advertisements, according to his report filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission. He spent close to $6,000 on postage and mailing for campaign materials.
Keith-Agaran has so far spent a total of $79,550 for the election cycle.
The House district covers Kahului, Wailuku, Puunene, Spreckelsville and Paia. With no Republican opponents, the primary winner will secure the seat.
Pontanilla spent $9,530 for the latest reporting period. About $4,925 was spent on radio and newspaper ads, and he's spent about $28,800 for the election cycle so far.
Keith-Agaran raised $11,280 in contributions for the one-month reporting period. Some of his larger donors included the Hawaii Committee on Political Education AFL-CIO ($2,000); Operating Engineers Local No. 3 ($2,000); Hawaii Laborers and Employers Cooperation & Education Trust Fund ($1,000); and Hawaii Government Employees Association ($1,000).
Keith-Agaran has raised a total of $78,423 so far this election cycle and reported having about $11,000 in cash on hand as of Friday.
Pontanilla collected $8,464 in contributions between July 1 to 27. His largest donations came from the Alexander & Baldwin PAC ($2,000) and Hawaii Credit Union League ($1,000).
He's raised a total of $22,950 so far for this election cycle and reported a little more than $3,500 in cash on hand as of Friday.
Candidates who will appear on the primary ballot had until midnight Wednesday to file their finance reports.
The next campaign finance reports covering the primary election are due next Wednesday, to disclose any "late" contributions, and Aug. 31 for a final report.
In the crowded Democratic primary race for state House District 11, representing South Maui, four challengers are vying for the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. George Fontaine in the November general election.
Joe Bertram III reported zero contributions and zero expenses for the reporting period and the election cycle to date.
Netra Halperin raised $1,649 in contributions for the reporting period, and $7,181 for the election so far. She spent $2,155 from July 1 to 27 and $30,988 total so far this election.
The bulk of Halperin's expenses was $25,845 in "forgiven loans" to herself at the end of last year. She reported about $8,000 in cash on hand.
Colin Hanlon collected $5,500 in contributions for the reporting period, and $16,313 for the election so far. He spent $10,265 from July 1 to 27 and $15,047 total so far this election.
Hanlon reported having about $2,472 in cash on hand at the end of last month. He also reported about $1,105 in unpaid debt at the end of the reporting period.
Kaniela Ing had not yet filed a report as of press time Wednesday night, according to the Campaign Spending Commission's database.
Because Ing has opted to receive public matching funds from the state, he cannot exceed an expenditure cap of $16,199 for the election. He has qualified to receive up to $2,430 in public funds for the primary.
In the House District 10, West Maui and north Kihei race, incumbent Democrat Angus McKelvey raised $5,670 during the reporting period, bringing total contributions for the election cycle so far to $23,170. His largest donation in his latest report was $2,000 from the Plumbers & Pipefitters PAC.
McKelvey spent $1,896 for the reporting period on advertising and general fundraising expenses. He's spent a total of $16,126 so far this election.
McKelvey reported $8,982 in cash on had as of Friday and $1,100 in unpaid loans at the end of the reporting period.
His opponent, Ed Kaahui, had not yet filed a report as of press time Wednesday night.
Incumbent Rep. Mele Carroll, who represents District 13, East Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe, reported contributions totaling $350 for the period. She spent about $500, mostly on campaign banners.
In Senate legislative races, Democratic incumbent J. Kalani English has likely maintained a financial edge over opponents Democrat Barbara Haliniak and Kanohowailuku Helm, a nonpartisan candidate.
English, who represents District 7, East Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe, raised $16,075 in contributions during the recent reporting period and $99,127 total so far this election.
His largest donors during the July 1 to 27 period included the Plumbers & Pipefitters PAC ($4,000); Travassa Hana ($2,500); Hawaii Operating Engineers Industry ($2,000); and the Hawaii Association of Realtors PAC ($2,000).
English reported expenses of $4,600 for the reporting period, none of which was for advertising. He's spent a total of $83,510 for the election so far and reported $51,450 in cash on hand.
Neither Haliniak nor Helm had filed their reports as of press time.
Haliniak reported having a little more than $3,000 in cash on hand in her previous June 30 report. Helm reported about $6,200 in cash on hand as of June 30.
Incumbent District 6, South and West Maui, Sen. Roz Baker, who doesn't have a Democratic challenger, reported $15,590 in contributions for the reporting period, bringing her fundraising total to $150,203 this election.
She spent $11,203 during the most recent period, including about $2,900 on newspaper ads and $4,700 on primary election postcards.
Baker reported about $91,700 in cash on hand.
Her opponent, Republican candidate Bart Mulvihill, has not filed any campaign finance reports to date.
* Nanea Kalani can be reached at email@example.com.