LIHUE, Kauai (HawaiiNewsNow) - Eleven candidates are vying to be Hawaii's next lieutenant governor. Six of them debated on Kauai Thursday night. Two of the eleven running are Republicans. One is an independent. One is a member of the Free Energy Party. The remaining seven are Democrats.
Six of those Democrats accepted invitations to this debate. They were state Representative Lyla Berg, Senator Bobby Bunda, Senator Gary Hooser, Representative John Riki Karamatsu, Senator Norman Sakamoto, and former state representative and Democratic Party chair Brian Schatz.
The candidates were asked questions on topics including education, fiscal responsibility, and agriculture.
"It is imperative that we preserve agriculture, that we promote agriculture for many, many reasons. To preserve the rural nature, to be food agriculturally sustainable and to preserve the open space" said Hooser.
"Water is plentiful on this island. The distribution of that water, getting it to the right place in the right quantities is something we need to look at" said Sakamoto.
"There's a lot of state land that used to be leased for agriculture. It's laying fallow now. It's not generating any revenue. I propose that the state provide those leases either cheep or free to farmers" said Schatz.
All the candidates stressed the importance of agriculture in Hawaii, and Karamatsu agreed with Schatz that state land should be made available to farmers. The debate was sponsored by the Kauai Chamber of Commerce and Hawaii News Now's Keahi Tucker was the moderator.
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