Carmen "Hulu" Lindsey announced last night that she will run for the open Office of Hawaiian Affairs Maui residency seat that she previously agreed to fill only temporarily.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Lindsey in January to fill the vacancy created when former trustee Boyd Mossman resigned late last year.
She was to serve on an interim basis until a November special election to fill the remaining two years of Mossman's term. The special election will be held in conjunction with the Nov. 6 general election.
Abercrombie, by law, was tasked with making an appointment after the OHA board was unable to agree last year on a Maui nominee and declared an impasse.
Abercrombie's office said at the time that one condition of the appointment was that Lindsey agree not to run as a candidate for the seat in November.
"For the benefit of Maui residents, with his initial appointment, the governor had wanted to find someone who didn't have an ambition to seek the seat," said Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz. "He wanted someone who was qualified but also who wasn't going to use the opportunity for their own political benefit."
Dela Cruz added: "Now that Hulu has decided to run, the governor's not going to prevent her from doing anything. He still thinks it's up to the people of Maui to elect who they want."
Lindsey made the announcement at her home in Pukalani.
Afterward, she acknowledged that she had agreed not to run when the governor appointed her. "However, after I served on the board and got to know the trustees, they really liked me," she said.
"It was they that initiated a letter to the governor" asking him to reconsider the request that she not run for the seat, Lindsey said.
She said she met with the governor and asked "if he would release me from the restriction he put on me." Later, she said she received a letter from Abercrombie acknowledging that it was her constitutional right to run for the seat.
"I certainly have enjoyed my service at OHA and I feel like I've made a difference," she said. "I've had many, many Hawaiian people come to me from Maui and urge me to run as well."
Lindsey, a noted Hawaiian music entertainer, owns Lindsey Realty and Kahulu Productions, and previously worked for Maui Land & Pineapple Co., Maui County and former Gov. John Burns.
Others candidates who were considered for the post during the trustee deliberations were Rose Marie Duey, Kaniela Ing and Mercer "Chubby" Vicens.
Interested candidates for the Maui seat can file nomination papers at the state Office of Elections in Pearl City on Oahu or with the Maui County Clerk's office in Wailuku between Aug. 28 and Sept. 7.
No signatures are required on nomination papers for candidates filing to run in a special election to fill a vacancy, according to the elections office.
Mossman resigned his Maui seat last November to take a three-year unpaid position as president of the Kona Hawai'i Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The election winner will fill his unexpired term that ends Nov. 4, 2014.
* Nanea Kalani can be reached at email@example.com.