Campaign 2000A Look At The Hot Legislative Races
WAILUKU -- Two administrators under former Maui Mayor Linda Lingle are seeking seats in the state Legislature in races that are key tests of Lingle's ability to get Republicans elected.
challenges seen as tests of
Gary T. Kubota
Former Fire Chief Ron Davis, 58, of Molokai, wants to unseat incumbent Democrat Sol Kaho'ohalahala in the 7th House District (Molokai, Lanai, West Maui).
Meanwhile, in the Senate, former Deputy Parks Director Allen Shishido is challenging Maui Councilman J. Kalani English for an open seat that covers Kahului, Paia, Upcountry, and portions of Wailuku, Waikapu and Haiku.
As chairwoman of the Republican Party of Hawaii, Lingle has been recruiting candidates and hoping to increase the voter base for the local GOP.
"I expect to be involved in races throughout the state, especially in those areas I believe I can be the most help," Lingle said.
J. Kalani English (D)
DISTRICT 5Central Upcountry Maui
Occupation: Maui councilman
Background: Diplomat to United Nations; chief of staff to state Sen. Avery Chumbley
Allen Shishido (R)
Occupation: Maui County parks administrator
Background: Maui deputy parks director; Maui High School swimming and diving coach; assistant coordinator, Maui Interscholastic League swimming and diving
Solomon Kaho'ohalahala (D)
DISTRICT 7West Maui-Molokai-Lanai
Occupation: Legislator; cultural resource director, the Lodge at Koele and Manele Bay Hotel
Background: Maui councilman; chairman, Hawaiian Sovereignty Commission
Ron Davis (R)
Occupation: Retired Maui fire chief
Background: 28 years with Maui County Fire Department; Molokai chairman, Muscular Dystrophy Association
Both Shishido and Davis are generally against abortion and for a decentralized state government, including county school boards.
Davis is opposed to abortion unless the mother's life is threatened or she is raped. Shishido is against abortion, unless the mother's life is threatened.
Democrat English is undecided on the abortion issue, and Kaho'ohalahala says he's "pro-choice," giving women the right to choose, whether it's a medical emergency or rape.
Shishido, 57, a pastor/elder of the Community Christian Church, still works for the county parks department as a parks administrator. He has support from friends at church and those who have worked with him as founder of a youth swimming group on Maui.
English, 34, has several major endorsements, including those of the Sierra Club, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and retiring 5th District state Sen. Joseph Tanaka.
English said if elected, he's open to listening to a proposal for county school boards.
But he said he's not likely to support it because he knows the neighbor islands do not have the tax base to support a local school board and the tax burden would be too much for Maui residents.
In their respective primaries, Shishido received 797 votes and English got 3,967 votes.
Shishido expects a larger turnout in the general election to favor him.
Davis, 58, is running in a district that spans three islands. Its constituents range from the very rich in Kaanapali to the very poor on Molokai.
Davis, a Molokai resident, wants to restore the ferry system between Lahaina and Kaunakakai, allowing workers to commute to Lahaina for work and visitors to spend the day on Molokai.
He also wants to develop an alternative route out of West Maui in the event of a traffic tie-up along Honoapiilani Highway.
Kaho'ohalahala, 49, said he's also in favor of restoring the ferry. But because funding is tight, he wants to explore how a ferry might be run by a private operator.
Kaho'ohalahala said a $200,000 study has been authorized by the Legislature to study ways to move the West Maui population, in the event of an emergency.