Maui Mayoral candidate Kahoohalahala among those endorsed by Sierra Club
The Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club is endorsing Maui County Council Member Sol Kaho’ohalahala in his bid for mayor. The endorsement was one on a list of 54 candidate endorsements released by the 6,000 member environmental grassroots group today.
“Candidates endorsed by the Sierra Club will help to protect Hawaii’s clean water, special places, and spectacular biodiversity while putting Hawai`i on a path to a sustainable future,” said Robert D. Harris, Director of the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club. “They understand a healthy environment is the foundation of a strong economy.”
At the council level, the Sierra Club endorsed Elle Cochran in West Maui, Wayne Nishiki in South Maui, and Kai Nishiki in Makawao.
In the state senate, Maui’s Shan Tsutsui gained the support of the Sierra Club along with his incumbent colleagures: Russell Kokubun, Les Ihara, Carol Fukunaga, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Donna Mercado Kim, Mike Gabbard, and Jill Tokuda. Newcomer Chuck Prentiss was endorsed for District 25, left vacant by Fred Hemming’s decision not to run.
In the State House, Maui incumbents Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Angus McKelvey, and Mele Carroll of Maui gained endorsements along with return candidate Tasha Kama.
“We believe our endorsed candidates will not rigidly adhere to the Democrat’s agenda, nor the Republican’s agenda, but Hawaii’s agenda,” said Mark Glick, Chair of the Hawai`i Chapter. “All parties need to work together to ensure a sustainable Hawai`i for generations to come.”
In the 1st Congressional District race, the Sierra Club endorsed Colleen Hanabusa. In the 2nd Congressional District race, the Sierra Club endorsed Mazie Hirono. “Hirono is a proven green advocate,” said Harris. “This is established by her 100% record from the League of Conservation Voters and continuing efforts to fund conservation programs here in Hawaii,” said Harris.
“We need federal advocates that will fight to eliminate the United State’s addiction to dirty fossil fuels,” said Harris. “We believe Hirono and Hanabusa will be strong leaders in this effort.”
In the Lt. Governor’s race, the only neighbor island candidate gained the support of the Sierra Club with the endorsement of former State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser.
“This was a tough choice among several impressive candidates,” said Harris. “But Hooser’s extraordinary accomplishments differentiated himself from a large field of candidates.” Hooser’s impressive list of accomplishments include introducing and passing the first mandatory solar water heater law in the United States and successfully keeping thousands of acres of agricultural land open for farming instead of development. “Hooser has gone to bat for Hawaii’s environment year after year,” said Harris.
The Sierra Club’s endorsement process involved sending surveys out to the candidates and reviewing their records. This endorsement received a majority vote from at least two Sierra Club committees of elected leaders in order to be approved.