Only one in three races for the Hawai’i State Senate and House of Representatives are being contested by Republicans.
Senate District 12, Waikiki, Kaka’ako, McCully and Mo’ili’ili, is one of 5 senate districts with a Democrat and Republican candidate. Democrat, Sharon Moriwaki, is a newcomer who beat incumbent Brickwood Galuteria in the Primary Election.
“I’m running because, 5 years ago, we saw all these luxury high rises and we’re seeing homeless on the streets. Housing was being built and approved by the development board, approving everything. And, so, our neighbors got together. We formed Kaka’ako United and we were able to change the law. That board now has representatives from the community. And that’s what I want for our district.”
Republican challenger, Lynn Barry Mariano, is a retired Army officer and member of the Ala Moana-Kaka’ako Neighborhood Board.
“When the Pentagon needed to upgrade its physical security infrastructure, they asked me. I was able to get $250-million for a five-year program and upgrade the interior and exterior physical security at the Pentagon. I plan on doing the same thing here as your state senator as the lone Republican. And, with you and me, we can take back Hawai’i and make Hawai’i affordable again.”
House District 22, Waikiki and Ala Moana, also has a contested race. Incumbent Democrat, Tom Brower, has served the district for 6 terms and says he’s a champion for affordable housing.
“I asked the state House Speaker if I could chair the Housing Committee at the Legislature for the House this session. I submitted a bill that I authored. It was the largest housing bill in the history of Hawai’i. The governor agreed with it and signed it into law. What this bill does is over the next ten years, it provides funding, roughly, $500-million to build over 22-thousand homes in that time period.”
Challenger, Republican, Kathryn Henski, is a retired business owner, former Hawai’i GOP officer and member of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board. She, too, is an advocate for affordability.
“One of the things I’d like to see happen is to eliminate the tax on food. A family of four would realize over a thousand dollars a year back in their pocket. And, we are only one of 23 states that charge taxes on food. We have to help people. We have to give them their money back. And these are very vulnerable issues.”
The candidates face-off in the General Election, November 6th. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News