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Monday, October 9, 2000

Campaign 2000



A Look At The Hot Legislative Races

Timson again challenges
incumbent Moses

Candidates promise to
lead Ewa Beach

By Pat Omandam

THE Villages of Kapolei are 10 years old this year, and the two people running to represent residents there and throughout the 42nd House District next year square off again in one of the hot races to watch on Nov. 7.

Two years ago, two-term incumbent Republican Mark Moses was able to sidestep a charge by Democrat and Kapolei Neighborhood Board Chairwoman Maeda Timson to win re-election by 242 votes.

Moses, 52, spent nearly four months in a wheelchair this summer recovering from hip surgery and missed some early campaign sign-waving because he was unable to stand.

Now he's back at nearly full speed on the campaign trail, and the response he has received from the district's residents -- which include 14,000 registered voters -- has been tremendous, he said.

"All I can do is run on my record," said Moses, who has been in Hawaii since 1981.

The retired Marine Corps major is quick to point out the nearly half a billion dollars in state funds that have gone into the building of the second city of Kapolei.

He's especially proud of the community effort it took to build Kapolei's middle and high schools, the main reason he ran for the House in 1996, when he beat Democrat incumbent Annelle Amaral.

Moses said construction of the first phase of the Kapolei Library will begin soon despite concerns from state Librarian Virginia Lowell to have all the funding in hand before any construction begins.

Moses said the state Legislature is not going to build a library without subsequent funding for staff and books.

Meanwhile, Timson, 49, said the toughest thing about running for office is "tooting your own horn."

Still, she points out that she has nearly 30 years of community service in the area and won this year's Kapolei Outstanding Achievement Award from Campbell Estate for lifetime service.

The First Hawaiian Bank assistant vice president said the top issue for the district, which stretches from Kapolei to Village Park and Ewa Villages, is to ensure there is quality urban growth.

"I guess the most pressing issue is keeping an eye on everything, and everything that's coming down the pipeline will get done in a manner that is done quality-wise and time-wise," she said.

Kalaeloa, the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station, is next to the Villages of Kapolei.

While both Timson and Moses are actively involved in the development of the area, Kalaeloa is actually part of another House district.

As for her campaign, Timson said she's again running a clean campaign with a focus on name recognition in the community. What's different this election year is the support she received early on in the campaign, which she didn't get in 1998.

"It was kind of pleasantly overwhelming, so I really feel blessed," she said.


Makakilo-Kapolei, Ewa Villages, Village Park, Royal Kunia and Honouliuli

Mark Moses (R)
Background: Retired Marine Corps major; former Kapolei Neighborhood Board member

Maeda C. Timson (D)
Assistant vice president of retirement plans, First Hawaiian Bank
Background: Community leader; Kapolei Neighborhood Board chairwoman

Candidates promise to
lead Ewa Beach growth

By Pat Omandam

For the past 25 years, House Republican candidate Pam Lee Smith has watched the rural agricultural plains of Ewa Beach slowly transform into popular residential communities.

Despite the growth, Smith said state and city services have not kept up with the changing times.

If elected to the 41st House District, Smith, 46, vows she will be the outspoken advocate that she believes the community needs.

"We looked around and saw what wasn't being done for the community, and we just felt it was time for somebody to jump in there full-time to work for the community," Smith said.

Smith's remarks were meant for Democratic state Rep. Willie Espero, appointed to the seat last December by Gov. Ben Cayetano following the retirement of state Rep. Paul Oshiro.

Espero, 39, said he's been working hard to address the area's top issues, which are transportation and education.

He said plans are on the books for the widening of Fort Weaver Road, as well as for synchronization of traffic lights.

While that will help, the major traffic relief for the area will occur when the North-South road is built, which is one of Espero's main goals in the Legislature.

The Japan-born Espero moved to Ewa Beach in 1984 and is a single father of two. He works part-time as a general manager of the Ewa by Gentry Community Association. He said he was happy with voter turnout in the primary election and noted his Democratic challenger received more votes than Smith last month.

"I believe we're in a very good position right now," he said. "And we're going to work harder this election than in the primary."

Meanwhile, Smith said her key to victory in November is a large voter turnout.

Smith and her husband, Gary, a retired Navy commander, moved to Hawaii in 1975 and to Ewa Beach three years later.

"There wasn't anything except a lot of cane fields, and then you came to Ewa Beach," Smith said.

The Oregon native said if elected, she will use 25 percent of her legislative paycheck for community grants for projects such as cleanup, beautification and kids projects.


Ewa Beach-Lower Waipahu

Willie Espero (D)
Legislator; homeowners association manager
Background: Executive secretary, city Neighborhood Board Commission; operations coordinator, Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii

Pam Lee Smith (R)
Full-time community volunteer
Background: Background in sales and marketing; past business owner; neighborhood board member

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