One afternoon in 1980, she walked into Su-Su's Boutique, handed each of us a lollipop with this oration, "I am Linda Lingle and I'm running for the Maui County Council - Please vote for me." With no further comment, she turned and left. That was the beginning of my admiration and lasting friendship with Linda Lingle.
She won her council seat and proved to be about the best legislator I've known. Although a Republican in a council that included eight Democrats, the challenge seemed to energize her work ethic and determination. By the sheer force of her character and perseverance she became a very productive member of that body.
After 10 years on the council, she successfully ran for mayor. Her eight years in that position were some of the best for Maui County. Among the Lingle administration's undertakings and improvements were developing Keopuolani Park and building swimming pools in Kihei, Pukalani and Lahaina. Her administration created the "circuit breaker" program for longtime homeowners so that they wouldn't be taxed out of their homes. The administration also upgraded the wastewater sewage treatment system.
These accomplishments were done with little or no tax increases. It is worthy of mention, Maui County was in excellent financial condition when Linda left the Mayor's Office.
Linda Lingle is the most honorable person I've ever known. Her integrity, charm and character mark her as being well suited to represent Hawaii, as well as America, in the United States Senate.