Maui News

Casumpang Added to List of Viable Maui Senate Candidates

January 4, 2013, 4:12 PM HST
* Updated January 4, 4:27 PM
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State Capitol, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

An additional name has been verified as a viable candidate for the Senate District 5 on Maui to fill the vacancy created by the movement of former Senate president Shan Tsutsui to the position of lieutenant governor last week.

Officials with the Maui Democratic Party said Nicanor E. Casumpang, Jr. will be considered during deliberations on Saturday, along with six other applicants that include: Loretta Giannotti, Robert George Hill III, Natalie A. Kama, Gilbert Samuel Coloma Keith-Agaran, Clifford R. Libed, and Mary D. Wagner.

According to the party’s nominating committee, Casumpang’s application was inadvertently directed into a spam filter of the email that was receiving applications electronically for the Senate District 5 vacancy.

The application was found late last night, and party officials verified today that the application was on time and that the individual was both a Democrat in good standing who lives in the district, which includes Wailuku, Waihee, and Kahului.

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“I apologize to Mr. Casumpang for this error in the way we received our applications,” said Justin Hughey, chair of the Senate District 5 Ad-hoc Nominating Committee.

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“The nominating committee is trying our best to conduct a fair and open process and unfortunately, this occurred due to an oversight. We look forward to hearing from him and all the other applicants tomorrow,” said Hughey.

District and precinct officers within Senate District 5 will comprise the official nominating committee and will meet on Saturday, Jan. 5.  At that time, 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. The governor has 60 calendar days following the first day of the vacancy to make an appointment to the Senate seat.

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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 three names to the public.

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