KONA, Hawaii – The nine candidates who applied to fill the State House District 5 seat recently vacated by Representative Denny Coffman have been named.
The Hawaii Democratic Party says the list has already been shortened to three nominees. Governor Neil Abercrombie will pick the next Kona representative from those three names. The three finalists are presently unknown to us.
However, we do know the nine candidates who applied to be among those three finalists. According to Democrats, they are: Abigail Au, Kaliko Chun, Richard Creagan, Barbara Dalton, Una Greenaway, Lei Kihoi, Gene “Bucky” Leslie, Michael Matsukawa, and Steve Sakala.
According to a party press release:
Thirteen members of the District Council participated in the ranking and selection process to determine the three nominees to the House Seat. Four members of the District Council – Creagan, Dalton, Greenaway, and Matsukawa – applied for the position and were recused from the meeting and the selection process.
According to District 5 spokesperson, John Buckstead, “the ranking and selection process maximized the preferences of the Council members, and folks were pleased that we are able to submit three well qualified nominees to the Governor and that the process of making the selection was very fair and transparent to the voters.”
Some of those candidates were in attendance a few weeks ago, when outgoing Rep. Denny Coffman was honored during this Democratic party event held at the Kona International Airport.
The 2014 legislative session begins on January 15, so Abercrombie’s chosen replacement is expected to be announced soon.