By Wendy Osher
A total of seven applicants are being considered for appointment to the District 9 State House seat vacated by former representative Gil Keith-Agaran, who was appointed recently to the state Senate.
The Maui County Democratic Party confirmed the list of contenders today that includes the following individuals: former Maui mayor, James “Kimo” Apana; Anthony Edington; Renee-May Kehau Filimoe’atu; 2012 Kahului council candidate Alan Fukuyama; Kallie Keith-Agaran; former Maui councilman and 2012 District 9 candidate, Joseph Pontanilla; and Justin Woodson.
All seven candidates are considered Democrats in good standing who live in House District 9, which encompasses Kahului, Puunene, Maui Lani and Old Sand Hills.
The District 9 council will comprise the official nominating committee and will meet on Saturday, Jan. 12. The committee will allow each candidate to speak for up to 10 minutes and committee members will be able to vote for up to three candidates, but not for the same person.
The final three names as identified by the nominating committee will then be transmitted to the Maui County Democratic Party Chair and the Hawaii Democratic Party Chair who will then forward the names to the governor.
Governor Neil Abercrombie has 60 calendar days following the first day of the vacancy to make an appointment to the House seat.
The nominating committee will not release the top three names of the candidates and will defer to the governor on whether he will release the names of the three finalists to the public.