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August 11, 2010 – Pahoa, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Tim Bryan
A forum for candidates seeking elected office in the Puna district was held at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa this weekend.
The event, put together by Tiffany Edwards-Hunt and The Big Island Chronicle blog, gave residents a chance to hear from candidates for District 4 State Representative, District 2 State Senate, and the District 5 county council.
The state house forum involved Democrat Anthony Marzi, Republican Marlene Hapai, and 18 year old Solomon Singer, running as non-partisan.
The three candidates hope to unseat Democrat Faye Hanohano, who has held the district 4 House seat since 2006. Hanohano was a no show at the forum.
Incumbent Russell Kokubun, however, was present for the State Senate debate. Kokubun has represented senate district 2 – which stretches from Puna all the way across Ka’u – for an entire decade. He is being challenged by Republicans Micheal W. Hale and Lee McIntosh, and Democrat Tim Waugh.
Puna councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason is being challenged for her Puna county council seat. She was in attendance for the early portion of the forum, but not for the final debate. Candidates Dr. James Weatherford and Barbara Lively used the opportunity to introduce their governing philosophies to the audience.
Council candidate Fed Blas was unable to attend.
The environmental organization Malamo O Puna plans to hold another forum for the county candidates on August 18th, and another state house forum on August 24th, at the Pahoa community center starting at 5 pm.