Maui’s Legislative Seats Draw Early Interest
Five individuals have pulled papers for the 8th District House seat (representing Kahakuloa, Waiheʻe, Waiehu, Puʻuohala, Wailuku, Waikapū), to fill the post being vacated by longtime Representative Joe Souki of Maui.
Rep. Souki served 36 years in the state legislature, including time as speaker from 1993 to 1999, and again from 2013 to 2017. Souki is expected to step down from his post before the end of this month as part of a settlement with the state Ethics Commission over sexual harassment allegations.
All of those who have expressed interest in the seat to date, pulled papers as democrats including: (Wailuku attorney) Lynn Araki-Regan; Troy Hashimoto (executive assistant to Maui Councilmember Mike White); (teacher and HSTA vice president), Justin Hughey; Dain Kane (a former Councilmember representing Wailuku from 1999-2006); and Mary Wagner (a business continuity plan manager with the County of Maui).
Maui’s Other Legislative Seats Drawing Early Interest:
As of Friday, March 23, three individuals have pulled papers for Maui’s District 6 Senate seat. The list includes: Democratic incumbent Rosalyn Baker; Terez Lindsey who pulled papers as a Democrat; and Melissah Shishido who pulled papers for both the Democratic and Green parties.
Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey (D) was still uncontested at last report. He pulled papers for re-election back in February for his current District 10 House seat. Rep. McKelvey, who represents West Maui, Māʻalaea and North Kīhei has served in the state legislature since 2006.
There are two individuals who are on the radar, seeking to fill Rep. Kaniela Ing’s 11th District House seat: former South Maui Councilmember Don Couch Jr. and Kīhei resident Christine Wildberger. Both pulled papers under the Democratic party. In November, Rep. Ing announced plans to run for US Congress to fill the seat being vacated by US Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), who is planning a run for Governor.
For the District 12 House seat, Maui’s Tiare Lawrence pulled papers back in February for the post held by incumbent Rep. Kyle Yamashita, (D-representing Sprecklesville, Pukalani, Makawao, Kula, Kēōkea, ʻUlupalakua and Kahului) who was first elected to the post in 2004. The two faced each other in the last election in 2016 with Yamashita earning 50.6% (2,763 votes) and Lawrence garnering 44.2% (2,411 votes).
In the race for the Dist. 13 State House seat (Haʻikū, Hāna, Kaupō, Kīpahulu, Nāhiku, Pāʻia, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, Molokini), Rep. Lynn Pualani DeCoite (D) of Molokaʻi has pulled papers for re-election. Rep. Decoite was first appointed to the seat in 2015 by Governor David Ige to fill the remainder of the two-year term left by the passing of Rep. Mele Carroll. She is now in her second term. Also pulling papers for the seat is Hāna resident John-Bull English (D).