Monday | November 20, 2017
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Online Extra: Familiar faces return to OHA board


Tribune-Herald staff writer

Voters for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs re-elected four of its members and added Dan Ahuna of Kauai to fill a vacant position on its board of trustees.

Five seats were up for election this year. Chairwoman Collette Machado of Molokai ran unopposed and was automatically elected.

Of the remaining four contests, one was for an at-large seat and one was for a resident of each of the islands of Hawaii and Kauai. There was also a special election for the Maui seat.

Although some of the candidates faced residency requirements, the OHA races were open to all voters in the state, regardless of ethnicity.

Hawaii Island Trustee Robert K. Lindsey of Waimea sailed to an easy re-election against candidates Willy Meyers of Papaikou and Edwin Miranda of Keaukaha. With nearly all precincts reporting showed Lindsey far outpaced his compeditors with 30.6 percent of the vote, compared to Meyers’ 15.2 percent and Miranda’s 9.7 percent.

The retirement of Kauai Trustee Donald Cataluna created a significant amount of interest in this seat, as well as a large number of candidates. Eleven people threw their papale lauhalas in the ring for OHA’s only open race.

Dan Ahuna of Kapaa winning that race with 12.9 percent of the winner-take-all vote, twice the lead of his nearest opponents.

The at-large race featured longtime board member and former chairwoman Haunani Apoliona against Cal Lee, the renowned football coach and a handful of other candidates.

Apoliona coasted to an easy re-election, defeating Lee by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Maui Trustee Carmen Hulu Lindsey was appointed to the board in January to fill the expired term of Boyd Mossman on the condition that she not run for election, but in August she changed her mind and announced she would be a candidate. Lindsey held on to the seat, winning 13.1 percent of the vote. Her nearest competitor, Dain Pomaika‘i Kane, who had 9.5 percent.

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