Maui County Democrats were out in force for the party's county convention held at Pu'u Kukui Elementary School in Wailuku on the afternoon of Saturday, May 3. According to County Democratic Party Chair Troy Hashimoto, over 70 party officials voted in favor of all resolutions put forward. At least another 50 came to hear the proceedings. (See Maui County convention booklet at mauidemocrats.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/MAUI-COUNTY-CONVENTION-BOOKLET.pdf for resolutions.) In other action, Yuki Lei Sugimura and Dain Kane were elected as delegates to the state convention. State Sen. Roz Baker chaired the formal part of the event.
The lu'au that followed was one of the more congenial political gatherings in recent memory, and a veritable "Who's Who" of Hawai'i Democrats at the local, state and national levels. The event drew a crowd of nearly 200, who heard remarks by notable Democrats including, incumbent Hawai'i Gov. Neil Abercrombie, his challenger, State Sen. David Ige, as well as both Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate--Brian Schatz, appointed to serve part of the remaining term of U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye and running this year for re-election, and his challenger, Colleen Hanabusa, presently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Also speaking was Maui's Shan Tsutsui, Hawai'i's present lieutenant governor. Tsutsui was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Schatz, the former lieutenant governor, was named to the U.S. Senate post. Rounding out the roster of bigwigs was former Hawai'i Gov. John Waihe'e.
“Hostess with the Mostest” Amanda Martin
Elected public officials in the audience included House Speaker Joe Souki, State Rep. Justin Woodson, State Rep. Angus McKelvey and State Sen. Gil Agaran. Also on-hand were candidates Mike Molina, Kimo Apana, Terez Amato and Tamara Paltin.
Many other family, friends and party faithfuls also attended.
Giveaways were plentiful, including fans, magnets, candy, popcorn balls and fresh tomatoes. Reams of campaign literature and signs of all sizes and colors were posted on the walls and decked the fences around the school.
The "Hostess with the Mostest" title went to Amanda Martin, the Maui County Democratic Party event chair for the day. Her crew included Hashimoto, Sugimura, Stephanie Ohigashi, Daryl Fujiwara, Tracie Takatani, Chelton Miyazono, Darlene Ane, Didi Azcueta and Kathy Kaohu. The awards committee members were Craig Nakamura, Willie Kennison, Wallette Pellegrino and Helen Nielsen.
Many others volunteers assisted during the day with set up and during the evening, Martin said.