Live radio forum today for U.S. Congressional hopefuls

The Hawaii County Democratic Party sponsors a forum today for the three people considered Democratic front-runners for the U.S. House seat that includes the Neighbor Islands and rural O’ahu.

The forum, with current U.S. Rep. Ed Case (D, Neighbor Islands, rural O’ahu), current state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli, Waianae, Makaha), and former state Sen. Matt Matsunaga, will air live today at 7 p.m. on KONG Radio Group’s KQNG (570 AM).

A second forum will be broadcast on KQNG at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, Dec. 18, and both forums are expected to be aired in their entirety on Ho’ike Kaua’i Community Television’s public access channel.

That is Kaua’i channel 12, though as of yesterday the broadcasts had not yet been scheduled.

Videotape of the forum will also be given to KGMB Channel 9 on O’ahu, for news coverage of the event, and to allow the TV channel to broadcast select portions of the forum, a Hawaii Island Democratic Party spokeswoman said.

Today’s topics are domestic issues, with moderators Hugh Clark, Skylark Rossetti and Ken Hupp. The Dec. 18 topics are international issues and foreign policy. Andy Levin, Clark and Hupp are the moderators for that second forum.

According to Paula Helfrich, Hawaii County Democratic Party chair, the events mark the first time a 2nd Congressional District forum has been broadcast statewide and originated from a Neighbor Island. The forums are in Hilo on the Big Island.

A special election is set for Saturday, Jan. 4, to fill the two-year term of the late U.S. Rep. Patsy T. Mink, also a Democrat, who died in late September but was still re-elected to her House seat in early November’s general election.

Case won the first special election, late last month, to fill the remainder of Mink’s current term, through the middle of January, 2003.

There are 44 candidates for the U.S. House two-year term, with a total of 12 Democratic candidates, and 16 Republicans including former Honolulu Mayor Frank F. Fasi, current state Reps. Chris Halford (R, Makena, Kihei and Kula, Maui) and Barbara Marumoto (R, Kahala, Waialae and Maunalani Heights, O’ahu), former state Rep. Bob McDermott, and Kapa’a resident and former County Councilmember Nelson Secretario.

McDermott won the Republican primary race in September, but finished a distant second to Mink in last month’s general election.

Greg “Iimz” Goodwin is one of two listed Green Party candidates, though he and the party are still disputing his party membership. The lone Libertarian candidate is Kapa’a resident Jeff Mallan.

Of the 13 nonpartisan candidates, one is Lihu’e resident Marshall “Koo Koo” Turner, who lists his address as Kuhio Highway’s Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Senior Apartments (the old Lihue Theatre).

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