Maui Election

Candidates file nomination papers, aim to help with Maui’s housing crisis

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Candidates are continuing to check out nomination papers for public offices in this election year. PC: Office of Elections, State of Hawaiʻi.

Two candidates for public office are testing political waters and saying they aim to help address Maui’s housing crisis, especially in the wake of the August wildfires.

Carol Lee Kamekona has filed papers for the Maui County Council’s Kahului residency seat. In a press release, she said she’s a staunch advocate for community-led recovery, healing and sustainable development.

And, she said, she’s “committed to addressing the immediate and long-term needs of our community from the devastating Lahaina and Upcountry fires, including the critical nature of the ongoing housing crisis while building a Maui that our keiki can be proud of.”

Kamekona said addressing Maui’s housing challenges “requires leadership that is rooted in compassion, community and a deep commitment to our land and people.”

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Council Member Tasha Kama has also pulled papers for re-election to her Kahului residency seat.

Green Party candidate Jackie Keefe of Lahaina filed papers for the Senate District 6 seat, which serves residents of West Maui, Mā‘alaea, Waikapū and South Maui.

In a press release, she said that with Maui’s housing crisis, “we must balance the use of available units to house our people with the understanding that our water resources are limited.”

“Access to water and housing are critical issues that must be addressed together for the well-being of Maui’s residents,” she said.

Keefe said the two key issues in the campaign are increasing affordable housing options on Maui and accessibility and inclusivity in public meetings.


“Community engagement is essential,” she said. “We need leaders who communicate with their constituents and seek guidance from subject-matter experts.”

To learn more about the Green Party of Hawai’i platform, visit

Sen. Angus McKelvey has pulled nomination papers for re-election to his Senate District 6 seat. And, Republican Sheila Walker of Kīhei has taken out papers as well for the seat.

In other developments, three Maui County Council members have pulled papers from the Hawaiʻi Office of Elections for re-election to their respective seats: Shane Sinenci for his East Maui residency seat; Gabe Johnson for his Lāna‘i residency seat; and Keani Rawlins-Fernandez for her Molokaʻi seat.

Also, Kihei resident Johnny Prones pulled papers to run for the South Maui residency seat. Pukalani resident Edward Codelia filed his nomination papers for the Upcountry residency seat, and John Pele of Maunaloa filed papers for the Molokaʻi residency seat.


Candidates who previously took out papers for County Council seats were:

  • Council Member Tamara Paltin and Lorien Acquintas, both of Lahaina, for the West Maui residency seat.
  • Council Member Nohe Uʻu-Hodgins for the Makawao-Haʻikū-Pāʻia residency seat.
  • Council Member Tom Cook and former Council Member Kelly Takaya King for the South Maui residency seat. King filed her papers for the seat on Feb. 1.
  • Council Chair Alice Lee for the Wailuku-Waiheʻe-Waikapū residency seat. Lee filed her papers on Feb. 7.
  • Council Vice Chair Yuki Lei Sugimura for the Upcountry residency seat.

In state House races, Haʻikū Republican Robin Vanderpool and Kula Democrat Linda Haʻi Clark pulled papers for the 13th House District seat. That seat serves residents of Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe, portion of Kahului, Ha‘ikū, Pe‘ahi, Huelo, Nāhiku, Hāna, Kīpahulu. Incumbent Democrat Mahina Poepoe has taken out papers for re-election to that seat.

For other seats serving Maui County in the state Legislature, the following candidates have already checked out nomination papers:

  • Democratic incumbent Lynn DeCoite for re-election to her Senate District 7 seat. This seat serves residents of Hāna, East Maui, Upcountry, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i.
  • Democratic incumbent Elle Cochran for re-election to her House District 14 seat. This seat includes residents of Kahakuloa, Waihe‘e, portions of Waiehu and Mā‘alaea, Olowalu, Lahaina, Lahainaluna, Kā‘anapali, Māhinahina Camp, Kahana and Honokahua.
  • Democrat Terez Amato and Republican Aileen Acain for the House 11 seat. That district includes residents of a portion of Mā‘alaea and all of Kīhei, Keawakapu, Wailea, Mākena, Kanahena and Keone‘ōio.
  • Democrat Zachary Thielen and Republican Dan Johnson for the House 12 seat. It serves residents of portion of Keahua and all of Hāliʻimaile, Pukalani, Makawao, Pūlehu, Waiakoa, Kula, Kēōkea, and ʻUlupalakua.

Also, Kīhei resident Keith Drummond Lambert pulled papers to run as a Republican for the US Senate.

June 4 is the deadline to file nomination papers. Information on the candidate filing process is available online via the State Office of Elections at Candidates who want to make an appointment with elections officials should call the Elections Division at 808-270-7749.

The primary election is Aug. 10, and the general election is Nov. 5.

The candidate filing report can be viewed at It is updated at the close of business days.

Brian Perry
Brian Perry worked as a staff writer and editor at The Maui News from 1990 to 2018. Before that, he was a reporter at the Pacific Daily News in Agana, Guam. From 2019 to 2022, he was director of communications in the Office of the Mayor.
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