Wednesday, November 3, 2004


Dela Cruz wins OHA seat
as Apoliona champions
Akaka Bill with big lead

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona was coasting to victory in her bid to regain her at-large seat, while Big Island trustee Linda Dela Cruz topped her six competitors last night.

Election 2004


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"We didn't take anything for granted," said Apoliona, who gathered with friends and family yesterday at a Windward Oahu home. "We were out there waving signs. ... We had a coordinated campaign effort."

Apoliona has been on the board since 1996, and was seeking a third term. She has also worked as a social worker and as president of Alu Like Inc., which provides social services to more than 17,000 native Hawaiians.

She said her biggest priority in the coming years will be to work to get the Akaka Bill passed and to help create "the future governance structure." The bill in Congress would give native Hawaiians federal recognition.

She also said she wanted the board to "continue to extend resources into the community."

Apoliona was facing off against three challengers, and her closest opponent was Kaui Hill of Kula, Maui, better known as comedian Bu La'ia. Also running for Apoliona's seat were Frankie Kay Kawelo of Honolulu and John Sabey of Waipahu.

"I'll try again next year," Kawelo said. "I'll keep on trying. ... For me the whole thing is for the people."

Dela Cruz's opponents were former OHA trustee Louis Hao, Jackie Burke of Keaau, Kalikoolani Chun of Kailua-Kona, Reynolds Kamakawiwoole of Honokaa, Kahea Kinimaka-Stocksdale of Hilo and Dickie Nelson of Kealakekua.

A professional musician and singer, Dela Cruz has said one of her priorities for her second term would be to complete the native Hawaiian registry.

Two other trustees up for re-election -- Colette Machado, trustee for Molokai and Lanai, and Donald Cataluna, trustee for Kauai and Niihau -- ran unopposed for four-year terms. OHA's nine-member board is made up of five island representatives and four at-large seats.

The five remaining seats on the board are up for election in 2006.

State Elections Office


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