KAHULUI, Maui (KHNL) Who will fill the Maui mayor's seat? There's certainly no lack of choice in the race.
The nine candidates include current mayor Alan Arakawa, former mayor James "Kimo" Apana and Charmaine Tavares, the daughter of a former mayor. Tavares and Dain Kane are currently County Council members. Also in the race, Lehuanani Aquino, John Blumer-Buell, Harold Miller, William Stroud, and Nelson Waikiki, Jr.
Maui non -profits put together this forum to hear how the candidates would distribute funding to some 500 organizations on the Valley Isle.
This is a field with both seasoned politiicans and a few first timers.
"I am not a politician again. I want to see you win" said William Stroud
The current and former mayors reflect on their track record with the non-profits.
"Government needs to provide a consistent source of funding. You should be looked at more as a department" said Mayor Alan Arakawa.
"I think government needs to put it's money where it's mouth is" said James "Kimo" Apana.
Another first-time candidate also assures the crowd he won't run off on them.
"I'm running because the communites are just being ignored too much" said John Blumer-Buell.
Realtor Harold "Hap" Miller doesn't have a huge war chest so he turned a limo into a roving campaign cruiser.
"I like to fix things. The reason I am running for Maui County Mayor is I see a lot of problems" said Miller.
Like across the state, one of the biggest problems on Maui is the cost of housing.
"The cheapest house on Maui is $500,000" said Miller.
Candidates complain the infrastructure isn't keeping up with growth.
"There is supposed to be 300,000 people coming in the next 20 years Everybody want that?" asks Stroud.
The audience asks about funding. Politicians ask for support.
"So I ask for your vote September 23rd" said Dain Kane.
"Make your choice wisely for our future. Thank you" said Charmaine Tavares.
The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election on November 7th.
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