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Don Couch Files for South Maui State House Seat

May 29, 2018, 7:47 AM HST · Updated May 29, 7:47 AM
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Don Couch.

Former Maui County Council member Don Couch filed his nomination papers seeking South Maui’s seat in the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives.

“This election is not about what is best for me or my opponent,” Couch said in a press release announcement. “It is about what is best for the working families of South Maui.”

In announcing his decision to seek the State House District 11 seat (Kīhei-Wailea-Mākena) Couch urged South Maui residents to make sure they’re registered to vote. “And then I’m asking that they vote for me in the August 11 primary election,” he said.

Couch was elected to three consecutive two-year terms on the Maui County Council and served as chairman of the council’s Planning Committee for six years; vice-chairman of the council’s Policy and Inter- governmental Affairs Committee; and Deputy County Planning Director.

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He has been a Kīhei Community Association board member and volunteer, and currently is Executive Assistant to Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, a position which includes serving as a liaison between Maui County and the Hawaiʻi state legislature. He is running as a Democrat to represent State House District 11 which includes Kīhei, Wailea and Mākena.

As a Maui County Council member, supporters say Couch fought for construction of Kīhei’s Līpoa Street roundabout and was also a founding member of Kīhei’s “Fourth Friday Town Party.” In his current position in Arakawa’s administration, he is working with the legislature and the Department of Education to determine the safest pedestrian access to the future Kīhei high school.

Couch said he is in a perfect position to represent South Maui because of his ongoing work between the county and the state legislature. “I have a thorough working knowledge of how to bridge the gap between the county and the state legislature,” he said. “An understanding of complex legislative processes is essential to getting work done at the state level that will directly benefit South Maui.”

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Couch said his governmental skill-set will be an advantage for South Maui when it comes to making sure the long-delayed Kīhei high school becomes a reality; that affordable housing is a top priority; that development goes forward only when land, water, beaches and ocean are protected; and that the challenges of infrastructure and homelessness are addressed aggressively.

“We know what South Maui needs,” he said. “But how to get those needs met lies in working efficiently and successfully with the community and state legislature.”

Couch has lived in South Maui for nearly three decades and says he has been an active community member throughout, “not only as an elected official but also as an administrator, community leader, and volunteer.”

For more information or to schedule a neighborhood home visit with Couch contact the campaign at PO Box 1212, Kīhei, HI 96753 or email don@doncouch.com.

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