Maui ballot includes 3 uncontested races and crowded contests to fill vacancies
By Wendy Osher
In a ballot that is filled with 11 mayoral candidates, three Maui council members and Maui’s OHA representative will return to office without a single challenger. Council Members Joe Pontanilla of Kahului, Gladys Baisa of Upcountry Maui, and Danny Mateo of Molokai are uncontested in the September Primary election. Maui’s Trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Judge Boyd Mossman also returns without a challenge.
In other Maui races, term limits for two council members will mean a guaranteed turnover in Makawao and West Maui. Four contenders are vying for the vacancy being left by Mike Molina in Makawao, and seven candidates are competing for the West Maui Council seat to replace Council Member Jo Anne Johnson. The Makawao contest includes candidates Mary Cochran, Kai Nishiki, Leona Nomura, and Mike White. The West Maui candidates are: Su Campos, Eve Clute, Elle Cochran, Alan Fukuyama, Zeke Kalua, Ke’eaumoku Kapu, and Paul Laub.
A familiar face off is brewing in south Maui where return-candidate Don Couch and incumbent Wayne Nishiki are in a rematch along with a third candidate, Norman Vares. And in East Maui, incumbent Councilman Bill Kauakea Medeiros is defending his seat against former councilman Bob Carroll who seeking a return to his old seat.
Wailuku Councilman Michael Victorino, faces a single opponent, Lisa Gapero in the race to retain his seat. And on Lanai, former Councilman Riki Hokama is up against return-candidate Matthew Mano after current councilman Sol Kahoohalahala decided to run for Mayor instead.
Maui has three candidates to consider for the Board of Education: Kihei residents Ray Hart and Leona Rocha-Wilson, as well as Barry Wurst of Makawao.
In the Senate, Democratic incumbent Sen. Shan Tsutsui faces a Republican challenge from Maui resident Eric Seibert.
There are six Legislative House seats on Maui that are up for election this year.
District 8 House: Tomas Cerizo (D), Justin Hughey (D), Tasha Kama (D), Joe Souki (D) (incumbent), Dean Schmucker (R)
District 9 House: Gil Keith-Agaran (D) (incumbent), Jeff Hoylman (R)
District 10 House: Angus McKelvey (D) (incumbent), Ramon Madden (R), Chayne Marten (R)
District 11 House: Johanna Amorin (D), Joseph Bertram III (D) (incumbent), Netra Halperin (D), George Fontaine (R)
District 12 House: Kyle Yamashita (D) (incumbent), Ray Bashkingy (R), Laurie Rinaldi (R)
District 13 House: Mele Carroll (D) (incumbent), Meiling Akuna (R)