Maui Election

Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Seeks Applicants for Senate District 7 Vacancy

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State Senate Majority Leader J Kalani English. (5.3.21) PC: Hawaiʻi State Senate / Senate Communications

The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi will be accepting “expressions of interest” from qualified candidates for the newly vacant Hawaiʻi Senate District 7 seat.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English announced his retirement from the Hawaiʻi State Senate, effective on May 1, 2021, citing long-term effects of COVID-19. The Governor has 60 days to fill the vacancy.

The vacancy has already drawn interest from State Representative Lynn DeCoite and former Maui Democratic Party Chair, environmentalist, and entrepreneur Timothy Lara, who announced last week their intent to vie for the seat.


Democratic Party members interested in becoming a candidate for potential appointment by Governor Ige to the Hawaiʻi State Senate, District 7, representing East Maui, Upcountry, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi (encompassing House Districts 12 & 13) should apply in time for receipt at Party Offices by 11:59 p.m. HST on May 13, 2021 as outlined below.

Pursuant to the DPH Constitution, Article VIII, Section 9, DPH Bylaws Article IX, Sections 4 and 5, and the Party’s Procedures for Filling Legislative Mid-term Vacancies, it is the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi’s obligation to submit a list of three candidates to Governor Ige in a timely manner, from which he can pick a short-term replacement to fill the remainder of the term and continue the tradition of good service of Senator English. Any member of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi who has been enrolled for at least six months, is in good standing, and lives in Senate District 7 at the time of appointment may apply.

Applicants must fill out a “Statement of Candidacy” form, which is available at or may be requested by email at [email protected]. Only applicants may submit their own candidacy form; no one may submit a nomination on behalf of another. Applications must be submitted electronically via Google Forms or via email at [email protected].


All applications will be date- and time-stamped upon receipt and a confirmation will be sent to the applicant. The selection body will verify that all applications meet the requirements for residency and “good standing” and will prepare an official list of nominees to be considered.

The selection body is composed of the district and precinct officers within Senate District 7, who will meet on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 10 a.m. HST via Zoom. The selection body will allow each candidate to speak for up to three minutes, and each member of the selection body will be entitled to cast votes for up to three separate candidates.

The final three names as identified by the selection body will then be transmitted to the State Party Chair, who will transmit the names to the Governor, who has until June 30, 2021 to make an appointment.


“I encourage all qualified and interested Democrats to apply for this position. With an open and grassroots selection process, and a long standard of service to our community, environment and culture, I know the members of the SD 7 selection body will select three worthy and hard-working individuals who represent the strong democratic values that will help to move our community forward,” said Jonathan Starr, Co-Chair of the Senate District 7 Selection Body.

For any questions or for more information, contact the selection body co-chairs, Jonathan Starr and Stephen West, via email at [email protected].


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