Familiar names among those vying for 6 BOE spots
Several ex-legislators and former University of Hawaii basketball star John Penebacker are among 23 candidates vying for six state Board of Education seats up for election this year.
Former Democratic state legislators Donna Ikeda, Terrance Tom and Brian Yamane, and Republican ex-legislator Bob McDermott are among those seeking to fill three Oahu at-large posts on the officially nonpartisan, 14-member board.
Penebacker, who played for the "Fab Five" UH basketball teams of the 1970s and recently retired as special assistant to the state librarian, will be running for a Windward Oahu seat.
Penebacker and Ikeda have served on the board before.
The primary will be the first electoral test for a pair of current members appointed last year by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle to the traditionally Democrat-aligned board.
Business consultant Paul Vierling hopes to hold off Penebacker's challenge and retain his Windward Oahu seat while attorney Darwin Ching is seeking the same for his Oahu at-large spot.
The second Oahu at-large seat is held by longtime board member Karen Knudsen, who is seeking re-election. The third has been left up for grabs by current board Chairman Randall Yee, who is instead running for the state Senate.
Shirley Robinson's Central Oahu seat also is being contested.
As of late yesterday, no one had filed to run against Maui's board representative, Mary Cochran. Under state law, she is thus considered immediately re-elected.
The top two finishers for each seat advance to the general election. For the three Oahu at-large seats, the top six finishers advance.