Politicians and church groups dominated the Fourth of July Parade in Naalehu Saturday, June 30. Harry Kim and Council Chairman Dominic Yagong who are seeking to unseat Mayor Billy Kenoi after his first term in office were in the parade, but the mayor himself was not represented. Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida and Paul Dolan, esq., who are vying for the lead prosecutor position, were in the parade, but the third contender in the race, deputy prosecutor Mitch Roth was absent.
All the council candidates vying for the District 6 were represented, including Brenda Ford, who currently sits on the County Council representing District 7, Maile David, Bradley Westervelt and Lee McIntosh. (Marie Burns, who had pulled nomination papers for the Council District 6 seat, opted not to file nomination papers and will not be on the ballot as previously suggested by BIC.)
As Ford rode past the farmer’s market fronting Shaka’s Restaurant in a red Mustang convertible driven by her husband Larry a vendor rushed to the street hollering at Ford: “Stop worrying about yourself and represent the people!” Bill Savage, of Mark Twain Estates, meanwhile, stood watching the parade, reflecting on the candidate forum his community held the night before. In his mind, Ford was the most impressive candidate and he noted he will be voting for “experience.” He pointed to the fact that, at the very least, the Hawaii County Council will see at least five new faces — Yagong is bowing out to seek the mayoral seat; Pete Hoffmann and Donald Ikeda have reached their term limit; Brittany Smart is seeking the State Representative District 3 seat; and Angel Pilago has opted not to seek re-election. Of the Naalehu candidate forum Friday, June 29, Savage also noted that Ashida was the only prosecutorial candidate to show up — even though Dolan is from the area. Savage found it very impressive how “pono” Ashida was about the fact that the other candidates were a no-show, even trying to offer excuses from them. Ashida told the crowd that Roth was sick and he believed Dolan had another engagement that night. To Savage, Ashida’s graciousness bought him votes with the crowd present.