One of us is keiki o ka aina - Native Hawaiian, Hilo-born, Oahu-raised, a resident of Maui for more than a decade. The other is a transplant, poe haole, from Indiana, having lived in Hawaii for nearly 30 years. Some would consider him kamaaina though he believes this is a designation and honor he has yet to earn.
Together, we are firmly united in our dismay and disappointment by the unfair and nefarious attacks on Kaniela Ing, claiming he is an illegitimate candidate for the State of Hawaii House of Representatives, District 11.
We do not know Mr. Ing, and have never met him. However, we have followed this race closely and believe this residency issue is an irrelevant political distraction. The fact he was born and raised on Maui helps us understand and appreciate his responsibility as a Hawaii citizen extends well beyond his South Maui district. Mr. Ing's kuleana as a Native Hawaiian applies to our entire moku of Maui, and many of our kupuna would argue, all Hawaii Nei.
We find his energy, passion, optimism and fresh vision enlightening, though we do have one regret: We do not live in his district and cannot support Mr. Ing with the most critical endorsement possible. We implore our neighbors of South Maui to vote for a young man who is convincingly committed to Maui's future and serving all people of Maui, his birthplace, his home.
Keli'i Brown and Jim Crowell