Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Campaign 2000


Democrat challenger
runs in GOP stronghold

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU -- A businessman who made his fortune building neon signs like the New Year's "Big Apple" in New York's Times Square is challenging three-term incumbent Republican state Rep. Chris Halford for the 11th House District seat in South Maui.

Jonathan Starr, 49, now a commercial real estate developer and family ranch owner, is running as a Democrat in a district that has traditionally favored Republicans.

The district of south Maui and Kula to Kanaio includes a growing population of residents who have lived on Maui less than 20 years. Many have small businesses and want fewer taxes and smaller government.

But the district, one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, also has its share of problems in crime, traffic and overcrowded classrooms.

Starr said Halford hasn't delivered the funding necessary to solve problems, despite the region producing a large share of tax revenues for Maui through tourism.

"The high school hasn't been funded. Traffic is abominable. The shoreline hasn't been protected. People want change," Starr said. "It's not enough to submit a bill and let it die. Kihei, to my mind, is responsible for Maui's economic miracle. We're the producers. We're not enjoying the benefits."

Halford, 48, said the election is about putting people in the communities first.

"I represent an independent and common-sense voice for Maui," Halford said.

"We are the highest-taxed people in the nation, yet can't get effective results in the communities because they squander our public money with self-serving practices. We have a centralized government, dominated by Democrats in Honolulu who would rather put themselves ahead of our people and communities."

Halford, who owns a plastic-making business called Composite Fabricators, said he has a commitment from every member in the Republican minority to support a high school in Kihei and it's up to the Democratic members in state elected office to gain the support of the majority members.

"It is a cooperative effort with the whole Maui delegation. The holdup is the self-serving political leadership in Honolulu," Halford said.

But Starr said Halford's approach is wrong.

"He's part of the government. You don't just trash the whole system and expect to accomplish anything," Starr said.

District 11


Chris Halford (R)
Occupation: Proprietor, Composite Fabricators
Background: Worked on a bill to give farmers and landowners tax credits for building water-storage facilities

Jonathan Starr (D)
Occupation: Commercial developer; owner of family ranch in Kaupo
Background: Served on the Maui Board of Water Supply Election Results
State Office of Elections

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin