Maui Discussion

PHOTOS: Dems Caucus Kicks Off 2012 Political Season

March 8, 2012, 7:45 AM HST
* Updated March 19, 3:03 PM
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By Susan Halas

coming in from the rain

Coming in from the rain, Sandy Shiner of Waiehu Heights was checked-in by Mary Wagner of Wailuku and Jody Yoshida of Wailuku as she attended the Democratic precinct caucus held at Wailuku Elementary School. Susan Halas photo.

It was a wet and rainy Wednesday night as Democrats throughout Hawaii caucused to elect party officers and select delegates to state and national party conventions.

Maui Now visited the meeting at Wailuku Elementary School Cafeteria where Democrats from District 8 (Wailuku, Waihee, Waikapu) and District 9 (Kahului-Spreklesville) gathered to conduct party business.

These precinct caucuses, held every two years,  are the kick-off to the election cycle. The scene in Wailuku was replicated throughout the state.

Attendance at the Wailuku event totaled about 60 Democrats. Many of the participants came prepared with bumper stickers, pens and posters supporting their favorite Democratic candidate. Others came to begin the process of becoming a convention delegate. Many wore t-shirts showing their choices or sporting a get-out-the-vote message.

justin hughey

Justin Hughey, chair for District 8, wore a bold t-shirt with a get-out-the vote message. Susan Halas photo.

obama volunteer

Barbarajean Eberly of Kahului said she would be supporting Obama. Susan Halas photo.


Despite the weather, those who attended were an enthusiastic and congenial group, even if their numbers were much reduced from 2008 when Obama had yet to become the nominee. That year Mauians in the thousands turned out at the precinct level to show their support.


Justin Hughey and Linda Puppolo and were re-elected as district chairs for District 8 and 9 respectively. Both expect Maui Democrats to play an active role in party activities leading up to primary and general elections.

linda puppolo

Linda Puppolu, District 9 chair, greeted Democrats at the door. Susan Halas photo.

Puppolo said in the coming months Maui Democrats will organize and support grass roots efforts in favor of Obama’s re-election. “We will also be talking about platform issues for the Maui County Democratic convention.” The local convenes here on May 6.

That event is followed by the state convention in Honolulu May 25-27. The Democratic National Convention meets in Charlotte, North Carolina in September 3-6.

Democrats at Wailuku caucus.

About 60 people attended the caucus in Wailuku. Susan Halas photo.

elaine gima

Elaine Gima of Kahului flashes twin victory signs. She staffed a voter registration table. Susan Halas photo.



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