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Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Campaign 2000

A Look At The Hot Legislative Races


Maui GOP
challenges seen as tests of
Lingle's influence

Gary T. Kubota

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.

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.


Central Upcountry Maui

J. Kalani English (D)
Maui councilman
Background: Diplomat to United Nations; chief of staff to state Sen. Avery Chumbley

Allen Shishido (R)
Maui County parks administrator
Background: Maui deputy parks director; Maui High School swimming and diving coach; assistant coordinator, Maui Interscholastic League swimming and diving


West Maui-Molokai-Lanai

Solomon Kaho'ohalahala (D)
Legislator; cultural resource director, the Lodge at Koele and Manele Bay Hotel
Background: Maui councilman; chairman, Hawaiian Sovereignty Commission

Ron Davis (R)
Retired Maui fire chief
Background: 28 years with Maui County Fire Department; Molokai chairman, Muscular Dystrophy Association

"I expect to be involved in races throughout the state, especially in those areas I believe I can be the most help," Lingle said.

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.

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