Mayor Victorino announces bid for re-election, aims to revitalize Maui County
Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that he is seeking re-election in a race this year that will decide the County of Maui’s top leadership position.
After the August primaries, the county will hold its nonpartisan mayoral election in November.
Victorino, a former Maui County Council member, was sworn into office as mayor Jan. 3, 2019, after defeating Elle Cochran, also a former council member. He is slated to finish his first mayoral term at the end of this year.
In a news release today announcing his bid for re-election, Victorino said he will revitalize Maui County with his “Four Pillars of Recovery Plan” to be released after he formally files next month.
“I am committed to working with all sectors of our community to build a more equitable and self-reliant future for the people of Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi while perpetuating our local way of life,” Victorino said in the news release. “A healthy community needs a healthy economy. Safe-guarding the health and well-being of our residents continues to be my top priority.”
Highlights of the plan include developing affordable rentals and workforce housing for residents, combating climate change with a move to green infrastructure, and diversifying the economy by “right-sizing” tourism to reduce economic dependence on one sector, among other items.
Months after Victorino took office in 2019, several wildfires swept through the county’s central plains and other areas, evacuating homes, shutting down roadways and impacting air quality.
In early 2020 and toward the end of this year, the county dealt with devastating flooding events that damaged homes, roadways and other infrastructure.
At the start of 2020, the county and the state faced the first wave of the global pandemic, which spurred mandatory shutdowns of nonessential businesses in March and a significant halt to tourism, the state’s leading industry. Like the rest of the state and parts of the county, Maui County is currently dealing with a surge of its highest COVID-19 cases yet driven by the omicron variant.
“Even with the extraordinary challenges we’ve faced with COVID-19, fires, floods, economic uncertainty, and more, the future of Maui County looks very promising,” he said in the announcement. “I’m running to continue the progress we’ve made and to keep the County moving forward. This is my home and I love the people of this community. Serving as your mayor has been the honor of my lifetime.”
Victorino in recent months faced a recall effort led by thousands who are against COVID-19 mandates and other administration policies. The effort ultimately failed after two attempts to reach the threshold of signatures required to proceed with a vote.