HSTA chooses candidates

By Jaymes Song
Associated Press

The state teachers union endorsed 10 Republicans and 15 Democrats yesterday in the primary elections for the state Legislature, but did not say which candidate the union would support in the gubernatorial race.

The 13,000-member Hawaii State Teachers Association, which historically has endorsed mostly Democrats, recommended two Republicans for the Senate out of 11 endorsements, while the GOP got eight of the 14 House endorsements. The union recommended Shannon Ajifu for the nonpartisan Board of Education.

"We are not concerned about party affiliation," HSTA President Karen Ginoza said. "We are concerned that these candidates support public education, and that's what it's based on."

Mayor Jeremy Harris' decision Thursday to withdraw from the race for the Democratic nomination for governor had no bearing on the endorsements, Ginoza said.

"We were honestly very surprised, but we had already made our decisions for the primary election, so it did not change our decision," she said. "At this point, these are all the recommendations we will make. After the primary election, we will come back and revisit our recommendations and make a decision for the general election."

The union handed out questionnaires and interviewed the candidates starting in January. The process was completed with a vote by Hawaii's public school teachers.

"The public school system needs people who will provide the moneys needed to hire quality teachers," Ginoza said. "Our public schools need people who are unafraid to fight for the funding for necessary technology, infrastructure and equipment."

Besides the questionnaires and interviews, the candidates were also judged based on their actions in the legislative session and their political record, HSTA said.

Last year, Hawaii public education halted when teachers took a three-week strike over pay raises and bonuses for teachers with advanced or professional degrees.


Candidates with districts listed are incumbents:

Shannon Ajifu

Bob Herkes, Democrat
Joe Souki, D, Maalaea-Kapalua-Wailuku
Chris Halford, R, Makena-Kihei-Kula
Ron Davis, R, Lahaina-Lanai-Molokai
Bertha Leong, R, Aina Haina-Niu Valley-Mariners Ridge
Barbara Marumoto, R, Kahala-Waialae-Maunalani Heights
Terry Yoshinaga, D, McCully-Moiliili-Pawaa
Galen Fox, R, Waikiki-Ala Wai
Ben Cabreros, D, Kalihi Kai-Iwilei-Sand Island
Mark Takai, D, Waimalu-Newtown
Roy Takumi, D, Pearl City-Waipahu
Guy Ontai, R, Wheeler-Mililani
David Pendleton, R, Maunawili-Enchanted Lake
Cynthia Thielen, R, Kaneohe-Kailua

Lei Ahu Isa, Republican
Gary Hooser, Democrat
Lorraine Inouye, D, N. Hilo-Hamakua-S. Kohala
Les Ihara, D, Kaimuki-Kapahulu-Waikiki
Carol Fukunaga, D, Ala Moana-Makiki-Tantalus
Suzanne Chun Oakland, D, Palama-Alewa Heights-Kalihi
David Ige, D, Waimalu-Pearl City-Pacific Palisade
Cal Kawamoto, D, Pearl City-Waipahu
Brian Kanno, D, Ewa Beach-Makakilo-Waipahu
Robert Bunda, D, Wahiawa-Haleiwa-North Shore
Bob Hogue, R, Kaneohe-Maunawili-Enchanted Lake

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