Debate over a hospital plan spurs a nurse's challenge to the incumbent senator


POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WAILUKU >> Republican Jan Shields said she’s running against state Sen. Rosalyn Baker because the lawmaker refused to support the development of Malulani Health and Medical Center in South Maui.

Shields, a registered nurse and a first-time candidate, said Baker (D, West Maui-South Maui) also refused to support a bill that would have done away with the certification system that denied a permit to Malulani.

Baker, chairwoman of the Ways and Means Committee, said she raised questions about Malulani’s impact on health care but never asked officials to deny it. She also said she was among legislators to sponsor a bill to do away with the certification process, but the bill was held up in the state Senate Health Committee. Baker said Shields wants to do away with the certification process but offers no alternative process of review.

Other first-time Republican state House candidates on Maui include Ramon Madden, a chef and webmaster, challenging Angus McKelvey (D, Olowalu-Kapalua); George R. Fontaine, a retired police captain, against Joe Bertram III (D, Makena-Kihei); and Mickey Vierra, once a legislative aide to former state Rep. Kika Bukoski, opposing Kyle Yamashita (D, Pukalani-Ulupalakua).

Republican Henry Kahula, a businessman, is running again against state Rep. Robert Nakasone (D, Kahului-Paia), who is recovering from lung cancer.

Independent candidate John Blumer-Buell, who wants an elected board running the Hana clinic, is challenging state Sen. J. Kalani English (D, East Maui-Lanai-Molokai).