With the primary election set for Aug. 9 closing in, we want to give readers more information about the candidates seeking public office, who they are, why they’re running and what they stand for. To do that, we’ve published profiles. We’ve covered forums. But residents need to know more before casting their ballots. Sign waving is a great way to get your name out there, but as some have pointed out, it doesn’t let voters know anything about a candidate’s qualifications or experience. And because there are 20 council candidates, it’s difficult for TGI to cover a public forum and share sufficient responses from each person. What you really end up with are a few comments and quotes from each that addresses only one or two issues.
For a vote to be meaningful, it needs to be based on relevant information. Voters need to know where candidates stand on specific issues to be sure they’re supporting the right person. In an effort to provide exactly that, The Garden Island sent a set of questions last month to candidates for the County Council, the mayor’s office and state representatives. We received responses from almost each one. One reported a lack of time to answer the questions. A few did not return repeated phone calls and emails.
On Sunday, we’ll be publishing their responses in a special section. We believe giving each candidate the same questions, the same 100 word limit, the same amount of time to respond, was the fairest way to do this. Is it exciting? Not really. But we weren’t after excitement. We wanted to give each person a chance to share their thoughts without any filters. They can say what they want and we’ll share that with our readers.
So you know what to expect, here are the questions we asked of council candidates:
1. What qualifies you to be on the Kauai County Council?
2. Why are you running for office?
3. What do you feel are the biggest issues facing Kauai, and why?
4. What, if anything, does the county need to do with its budget?
5. Do you feel more should be done to address environmental issues on and around the island?
6. What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
7. Here’s a chance to send a final message to voters. Go!
We asked similar questions of state candidates with one more: Should counties have the right to regulate pesticide use and genetically modified crops, or is that the state and federal government’s kuleana? For the mayor candidates, we included this questions: What do you believe is the main responsibility of a mayor?
Please check out this special section on Sunday and let us now what you think. We hope you can find the time to read their answers and learn something new about the candidates.
Most important, we hope you come away knowing enough about the candidates to be able to decide who gets your vote. See you at the polls.