A Complete List of Hawai’i County Election Recommendations – State House, Council, Federal, OHA

Hawai’i County 2020 Election Recommendations
(for all Counties Statewide go HERE)

After an exhaustive review of almost every race for every office in the state of Hawai’i, the below list represents my final recommendations for the 2020 Hawai’i primary election and includes candidates for both State, County, and Federal offices. Most of the candidates I am recommending, I know personally. Others I have met, done considerable research, and gotten input from friends who live in Hawai’i County and residents who live in the various districts. All, I believe share the core values of economic, social, and environmental justice – Putting people and the planet above corporate profits.

I start with the State House and end with the Council.

Shannon Matson
House District 3 (Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano)
Born in Honoka’a and raised on Hawai’i Island, Shannon Lopeka Matson, is grateful to call Hawaiian Acres her home. As an alumnus of U.H. Hilo, she has been an active community leader in the Hilo and Puna area for over 15 years. Fellow community leader Kealoha Pisciotta says it best, “I support Shannon Matson in her run for the House Of Representative for my District. She embodies a new kind of leadership that is needed in this time of great change. As a Mother, Business Owner, Environmental and Social Justice Advocate, I believe she has what it takes to be a champion for the people and the land.” https://electshannonmatson.com

Eileen Ohara
House District 4 (Puna)
Eileen Ohara brings experience to the position, and that experience will tell you where her values are. Special Projects Manager, Malama O Puna, 2020
Hawaii County Council Member & Chair of the Environmental Management Committee, 2016-2018, Office Manager and Community Liaison, State Senate, 2012-13, Business Development Specialist, Pacific Biodiesel & Big Island Biodiesel, 2007-2011. Recycling Coordinator, County of Hawai’i, Dept. of Environmental Management, 2003-2006, Executive Director, Recycle Hawai`i, 2002-2003, Planner, County of Hawaii, Planning Department, 2001-2002, Coordinator, HELCO, Remote Residential Solar Electric & Street Lighting Programs, 1995-1999, Founding Board Member and Quality Control Officer, Hawai`i Organic Farmers Assn, 1993-2001. http://ohara4puna.com

Jeanné Kapela 
House District 5 (Naalehu, Ocean View, Capt. Cook, Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona)
Jeanné was born in Kona and raised on a small coffee farm in the nearby town of Captain Cook. She graduated from Konawaena High School in 2012 and currently serves West Hawai’i as a member of the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Board of Directors, Lions Club of Kona member, communications chair of Konawaena High School’s 100th Anniversary Committee, and Director of the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition. Jeanné believes that it’s time to guarantee that the workers who drive our economy are able to thrive financially by raising the minimum wage to at least $15/hour and establishing a statewide paid family leave program. She is also committed to raising teacher pay, fully funding our schools, and creating a Green New Deal.

Note: For District 5, there are two names listed for the single seat. Jeanné Kapela has the endorsement of the Pono Hawai’i Initiative, and Colehour Bondera who was a late entry to the race has my personal support. This is a “win-win” for District 5 as both are solid in their values and both bring new energy to the State House of Representatives. This race and the endorsement process was a difficult and awkward one for me as I have great respect for both candidates.

Colehour Bondera
House District 5 (Naalehu, Ocean View, Capt. Cook, Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona)
Colehour Bondera is a farmer and long time resident in the District. He is the President of the Board of Kona Coffee Farmers Association, a board member of the Kona Farm Bureau and on the board also of the national organization, Beyond Pesticides.

U.S. Congress CD2 – Kaiali‘i “Kai” Kahele
State Senator Kai Kahele has proven that when the crunch comes, he will do the right thing. Certainly, on issues pertaining to environmental protection, he has without question proven himself. He has also on numerous occasions bucked the powers that be, and taken tough decisions that put people and the planet first. https://www.kaikahele.com

In the races listed below, other seats are also up for election but I am making no recommendation. I am only endorsing candidates who I know personally and have experience working with them at some level. I suggest leaving “blanks” and not voting on races unless you are clear and firm on your choice.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Note: These offices are voted on “statewide”.
Dan Ahuna (Kauaʻi County)
Lanakila Mangauil (Hawaiʻi County)

Heather Kimball, CD1 (Portions of South & North Hilo & Waimea & Hamakua)
Matt Kaneali’i-Kleinfelder, CD5 (Portions of Western Puna)
Rebecca Villegas, CD7 (Portions of South & North Kona)

On the Mayor’s race for Hawai’i County – There are too many candidates and none at the moment stand out as particularly strong on the most important issues – environmental protection, and economic and social justice, AND have the experience needed to manage the County. While I may write about this race in the future, I do not expect to make any recommendations.

Please help by sharing this message far and wide.


Gary Hooser
Note: If you received this blog post “forwarded from a friend” and would like to be kept informed of policy, politics and the upcoming elections – please consider subscribing to my email newsletter – http://garyhooser.com/#four

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s