Competition for 10th House seat could be tight
Democrat McKelvey and Republican Azman have shown pull with voters
WAILUKU » Two candidates are expected to wage a close race for the 10th House District, including West Maui and North Kihei.
Republican Dr. Ben Azman and Democrat Angus McKelvey have displayed some voter strength.
McKelvey, 38, publisher of the Lahaina Historical Walking Guide, defeated incumbent Kam Tanaka in the primary with nearly a 2-1 margin.
Azman, 62, owner of West Maui Healthcare Clinic, lost a close race for the state Senate 5th District (West Maui-South Maui) in the 2002 Republican primary to Don Couch. Couch later lost by fewer than 210 votes to state Sen. Roz Baker.
This time around, Azman may have a better chance because the 10th District is largely West Maui, where he showed strength in the 2002 election.
McKelvey, who describes himself as a "virulent pro-small-business Democrat," said he is expecting crossover votes from Republicans who want an aggressive representative for their district.
He has been actively calling on Lingle to declare West Maui a disaster area because of traffic tie-ups, but Lingle has declined, saying a declaration is only permitted if there is imminent loss of life and property.
Azman also has identified traffic improvements as the most pressing need in west Maui.
He has said that as a Republican, he can work easily with the Lingle administration.
McKelvey said he has experience where it counts -- as a legislative aide in the Hawaii Legislature in the 1990s -- and the Democrats are likely to control the state House and the committee chairs.