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Incumbents facing off in redrawn districts

Several Democratic leaders are competing against either each other or former lawmakers

By Derrick DePledge

POSTED:

060612HSA B4 Candidates Page Asa-A-NONEXX 13-07-21


State Sen. Carol Fuku­naga has served in the Senate for two decades. State Sen. Brian Tani­gu­chi has served for 18 years. But redrawn political boundaries after the census have placed the veteran senators into the same Manoa area district, so one of them will not make it past the August primary.

Democrats will have to choose between Fuku­naga, the chairwoman of the Senate Economic Development and Technology Committee who has become a leader in new media, and Tani­gu­chi, a former chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee who has been considered for the Senate presidency.

"I think it's going to be a hard choice. It's going to be one of these tossup races," Tani­gu­chi said Tuesday, the deadline to file for elected office this year.

"It's never easy to run against a colleague you've respected and worked with over the years," Fuku­naga said in a statement. "However, competition is a time-honored tenet of our demo­cratic process — it's a healthy way to improve the quality of dialogue between voters and candidates."

The primary clash is one of three pitting Demo­cratic incumbents against each other in newly drawn Senate and House districts.

House Majority Leader Pono Chong and state Rep. Jessica Wooley will face each other in a Kane­ohe area district, while state Rep. Heather Giu­gni — appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie this year to fill a vacancy — and state Rep. K. Mark Takai will compete in an Aiea area district. Both primary campaigns have leadership implications in the House. Chong is a top lieutenant to House Speaker Calvin Say, while Wooley and Takai are part of a dissident faction that has sought to replace Say for several years.

Dissidents dodged a head-to-head duel when state Rep. Scott Saiki, one of the faction's leaders, chose to move to and run in an open Pawaa area district instead of against state Rep. Scott Nishi­moto, a fellow dissident. Saiki will have to contend with Lei Ahu Isa, a former lawmaker and state school board member, in the primary.

Several other primary campaigns involve former lawmakers who want to return to the Legislature at the expense of incumbents.

On Hawaii island, state Sen. Malama Solomon, appointed by Abercrombie in 2010 to fill a vacancy, faces a challenge from Lorraine Ino­uye, a former senator and Hawaii island mayor. In the Pearl City region, state Sen. Clarence Nishi­hara will be up against former state Rep. Alex Sonson. In Mililani, state Sen. Michelle Kidani will face former state Rep. Michael Magaoay.

In a Windward campaign that has already divided Demo­crats, state Sen. Pohai Ryan will be up against Laura Thielen, a former director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources under former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican. State Demo­crats are still reviewing whether to go to court to block Thielen's candidacy, since the party has ruled that she is not eligible to run as a Demo­crat because she has not been a party member for at least six months.

Dante Carpenter, the party's chairman, said Tuesday that the party will likely make an announcement on Thielen later this week.

On Hawaii island, state Sen. Gilbert Kahele, who was appointed by Abercrombie last year to fill a vacancy, will face Hawaii County Councilman Donald Ikeda in the primary.

Honolulu City Councilman Romy Cachola, who is barred by term limits from seeking another term on the Council, is running for the House in a Kalihi area district. He is also a former House member.

Former state Sen. Eloise Tung­pa­lan will face Gregg Taka­yama, a former television reporter, in a Pearl City area House district. Former state Rep. Romeo Mindo is among several Demo­crats seeking an Ewa Beach House seat.

Most of the significant primary contests for the House and Senate involve Demo­crats, who have a 43-to-8 majority in the House and a 24-to-1 hold on the Senate.

Former Senate Minority Leader Fred Hemmings hopes to reclaim his old Windward Senate seat — now held by Ryan — in the November general election. Former GOP state Rep. Colleen Meyer has targeted state Sen. Clayton Hee in a North Shore area district.

Two former state senators, meanwhile, are eying Council seats.

Ron Menor, who lost re-election to the Senate in 2008 after a drunken-driving incident, will run for an open Central Oahu seat on the Hono­lulu City Council.

Gary Hooser, director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control, who lost a campaign for lieutenant governor in 2010, will run for the Kauai County Council.






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peanutgallery wrote:
Time for the career politicians to be sent packing. Both Fukunaga and Tanaguchi have been dipping their beaks for a long time. There is only one reason one stays in office as long as they have. Personal, above public, service. It will be interesting to watch these two go after each other.i
on June 6,2012 | 06:24AM
HD36 wrote:
Too bad Mizuno has no competition again.
on June 6,2012 | 09:41AM
Senior_Researcher wrote:
No, the reason they keep getting elected is because people vote for them. Brian Taniguchi (note the correct spelling of his last name) has done alot over the years in my Manoa district. He has a full time job and grandchildren on which to dote, so it appears that his service as a legislator is, indeed, public, not personal. Can't say the same -- or much of anything -- for his opponent. You got a better option? If not, your comments are as your screen name suggests: irrelevant.
on June 6,2012 | 10:55AM
Changalang wrote:
Mr. Taniguchi is indeed a Senator cut from cloth that is a cut above your average long time public servant. He still serves the public; while others feel the public should serve their royal ways. Taniguchi is rare in that he has not let the power of his position change his point of view or abuse that position. Ways and Means is usually reserved for the big dogs who play well with others.
on June 6,2012 | 02:19PM
HD36 wrote:
Yea but John Mizuno was legislator of the year! He even bought a hoale homeless person a ticket back to the mainland.
on June 6,2012 | 03:14PM
McCully wrote:
Finally some of the old guards will be unemployed and maybe some new blood will do some wonders for the state.
on June 6,2012 | 07:16AM
allie wrote:
Neither pone is in any way impressive
on June 6,2012 | 07:29AM
wiliki wrote:
Hurray for redistricting....
on June 6,2012 | 07:53AM
Changalang wrote:
Manoa can't lose with either victor in the Senate. Mark Takai claims to be dissident, but he is the only elected Democrat to line up with several hardened Republicans to sue to stop this election after swearing to uphold the State Constitution. If dissident means Hawaii GOP sympathizer willing to stop OUR election for his personal gain, then how many Democrats should vote for Takai?
on June 6,2012 | 07:55AM
Changalang wrote:
The real danger of the plan is the open seat 19th District. It is the 1% district. It is now Kahala/Diamond Head taking the balance of Kaimuki out of the mix. Very sneaky and uncaring legally enhanced individuals tried to en-slave the State in the Legislature this year by co-opting a certain Senator running unopposed. Under the guise of targeting Genshiro Kawamoto, they constructed a Bill that would place every household under an automatic housing association empowered with language that encourages neighbor to sue neighbor. These Richies have bought property in nearby Kaimuki. They have built next to budget struggling multi-generational families. The State AG warned against General Blight language. The Bill would empower a rich landlord to sue their neighbor for property devaluation at 3 times lost value for "general blight" not specified issues. This is mainland ethics clashing with local culture.
on June 6,2012 | 09:09AM
Changalang wrote:
P. S. Now that they have an Open House District for the millionaires, they will push this to enhance their means of becoming slum lords in nearby Kaimuki. They hide under the guise of the corrupt neighborhood board system of the City and self appointed volunteer neighborhood home owner's associations filled with f@scists who often make their money selling real estate in East Honolulu. What a coincidence. Nobody has any issues with clear cut language, but general blight is termed to leave wiggle room to drive kapuna out of their homes. Specific rules and government enforcement is okay. However, rich people writing legislation to further enrich themselves at long time local fee simple land owners' expense is abominable. Neighbor vs. neighbor as a public policy hedge is the ultimate betrayal of the public trust. If it ever goes through, rest assured that individuals on any self appointed association will be targeted in class action to insure the rights of ALL citizens remain equally protected. Just like this plan went to Federal Court. F'n scoundrels.
on June 6,2012 | 09:35AM
Bean808 wrote:
Watch, it may not be over yet concerning the reapportionment thing. I almost alway agree with you but Takai was exercising his constitutional right by challenging the mapping. Just because we may not like a person stance on any particular position does not mean he wasn't upholding the constitution. That is where the Courts have to decide, the law. Still, I think there may be some repercussions to the recent court decision. The court's decision indicating things like the timeliness of having the election, etc. did not really seem to address the issues. We'll see. But keep posting Changalang your comment are well taken.
on June 6,2012 | 09:45AM
Changalang wrote:
I do not know Takai, but deeds and alliances are self defining. My whole personal interest and vehement support of the mapping process comes from the underlying fact that a census confirmed 70,000 big island residents were going to have their voices diluted by the original maps. As an Oahu voter, supporting the Big Island people was more important as being the right thing to do than pondering how much doing the right thing would hurt Oahu influence in the Senate. This whole thing stunk to high heaven as Hawaii GOP operatives and factional Democrats on the Commission made a mockery of the process. The Court intervention at all levels was much needed to get decent maps. If Takai wins his district, then the constituency that knows him better than us would have spoken. All should honor that, but he should also honor the State Constitution as his job description demands. The Founding Fathers had system design spot on, in my humble opinion. Balance of power is needed to keep mankind from indulging in their inherent character flaws.
on June 6,2012 | 10:22AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Originally our founders envisioned a system by which a variety of individuals took a turn at creating legislation, thereby bringing their real world experience to a collective table. Unfortunately this vision has never become reality, as we've witnessed the unintended birth of a new profession, the politician.
on June 6,2012 | 09:11AM
Changalang wrote:
P. S. Now that they have an Open House District for the millionaires, they will push this to enhance their means of becoming slum lords in nearby Kaimuki. They hide under the guise of the corrupt neighborhood board system of the City and self appointed volunteer neighborhood home owner's associations filled with f@scists who often make their money selling real estate in East Honolulu. What a coincidence. Nobody has any issues with clear cut language, but general blight is termed to leave wiggle room to drive kapuna out of their homes. Specific rules and government enforcement is okay. However, rich people writing legislation to further enrich themselves at long time local fee simple land owners' expense is abominable. Neighbor vs. neighbor as a public policy hedge is the ultimate betrayal of the public trust. If it ever goes through, rest assured that individuals on any self appointed association will be targeted in class action to insure the rights of ALL citizens remain equally protected. Just like this plan went to Federal Court. F'n scoundrels.
on June 6,2012 | 09:22AM
Changalang wrote:
Darn censor software. Wrong place, again. Check SB 2495; SB 2496, and the Trojan horse gut and replace bill that almost made it; HB 2852. Language sponsored and supported by ex-Calvin Say aide Mark Hasham of the 18th District. Ironically, that was re-districted and Marumoto retired out of that seat held for decades. Special thanks to the akamai people from Maui for standing up for all the people of the State of Hawaii against the 1% as they struggle to put food on their table and can't afford to paint their Palolo fee simple non-association house a more palatable color for the rich Kahala neighbor/landlord's convenience newly next door, drooling to buy the lot next door and expand their wealth. PAY ATTENTION HAWAII ! Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I will continue to shine on!
on June 6,2012 | 09:34AM
Changalang wrote:
Typo; Rep. Hashem.
on June 6,2012 | 02:15PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Hey u been busy.
on June 6,2012 | 07:31PM
Changalang wrote:
Somebody has to protect the people from the Aloha Spirit.
on June 6,2012 | 07:55PM
LAX2HNL wrote:
vote them all out. ..... please..
on June 6,2012 | 11:26AM
HawaiiMillers wrote:
Hope and Change...Vote every incumbent out!
on June 6,2012 | 05:39PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
They need a law to limit terms.
on June 6,2012 | 07:33PM
OldEnoughToRemember wrote:
Any legislator that has served 2 terms or more needs to be voted out. Any politician who served 2 terms or more and is trying to get back in needs to be sent a clear message that they are not wanted or needed in office again as well. Want the same Hawaii you have grown accustomed to, then vote the same folks back in and keep your mouths shut as our state falls into greater decline.
on June 6,2012 | 05:50PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
My comment just before yours was independent of u. I think if there was a poll, maybe 75% would say to limit terms.
on June 6,2012 | 07:36PM
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