The Hawaii County Democratic Party sponsored two forums for the three people considered Democratic front-runners for election to the U.S. House seat that includes the Neighbor Islands and rural O’ahu.
The forums, with current state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D, Nanakuli, Waianae, Makaha), former state Sen. Matt Matsunaga, and current U.S. Rep. Ed Case (D, Neighbor Islands, rural O’ahu), are to be aired live on KONG Radio Group’s KQNG (570 AM).
The first forum will air tonight at 9:30 p.m. on Ho’ike Community Television channel 12.
A second forum, covering international issues, was taped Wednesday night in Hilo on the Big Island, and is also scheduled to run on Ho’ike, though a schedule has not been finalized.
Videotape of both forums was provided 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.
A special election is set for Saturday, Jan. 4, to fill the two-year term of the late U.S. Rep. Patsy T. Mink, a Democrat, who died in late September but was still re-elected to her House seat in early November’s general election.
Walk-in absentee voting for the two-year U.S. House term began Wednesday, Dec. 18 at the Lihu’e County Building, and continues from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Sundays and holidays (Christmas and New Year’s Day) through and including Thursday, Jan. 2.
Polling places from Kilauea to Waimea will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4.
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.
Greg “Iimz” Goodwin of Hanalei 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 Sun Village apartments behind Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihu’e.