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Meet the candidates at WMTA forum

By Staff | Oct 21, 2010

Have you made up your mind on who to vote for in the General Election on Nov. 2?

With the governor’s job, mayor’s post and County Council seats up for grabs, there are many candidates for these very important races.

Have you met the candidates? What do you know about the people who will soon run our county and state government?

To help inform area voters, West Maui Taxpayers Association will hold a Candidates’ Night at Lahaina Civic Center on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public. Free dinner will be provided by Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar and Honolua Store.

Candidates confirmed for the forum include Mayor Charmaine Tavares and challenger Alan Arakawa, Tenth House District Rep. Angus McKelvey (D) and challenger Ramon Kitaichi Madden (R), West Maui County Council seat candidates Elle Cochran and Alan Fukuyama, South Maui Councilman Wayne Nishiki and challenger Don Couch and Board of Education hopefuls Ray Hart and Leona Rocha-Wilson.

The GOP ticket for governor and lieutenant governor, James “Duke” Aiona and Lynn Finnegan, will participate, along with three more County Council candidates: Matthew Mano (Lanai), Kai Nishiki (Makawao-Haiku-Paia) and Lisa Gapero (Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu).

WMTA’s additional goal is to heighten the West Side’s political clout.

Longtime leader Joe Pluta was disappointed that during the primary, 5,429 voters — nearly 19 percent of the total turnout — didn’t bother to select a candidate for the West Maui County Council seat.

“We should pack the Lahaina Civic Center, so that the candidates can personally see West Maui’s people are vital and interested,” Pluta commented.

West Siders must get out and vote in the General Election. Attend the WMTA forum to learn about the candidates and their views.