Legislative slugfest on N. Shore

The withdrawal of mayoral candidate Donovan Dela Cruz to run for the  State Senate doesn’t take much drama from the mayor’s race, where he and little chance, but it adds a lot of spark to the contest to fill the Wahiawa-North Shore Senate seat vacated by Robert Bunda when he resigned to run for lieutenant governor.

Dela Cruz, who represented the area on the City Council for two terms, faces off against Michael Magaoay, who has represented the North Shore in the House and likely expected to waltz into the upper chamber before the surprise switch by Dela Cruz.

It promises to be a spirited campaign, with Magaoay already jabbing at Dela Cruz for his indecision in first declaring for lieutenant governor before switching to the mayor’s race and then the Senate.

But Dela Cruz has gained a lot of visibility in his months of campaigning for mayor, and Magaoay will have to face questions of his own about his controversial fundraising on the backs of nonprofits whose state grants he controlled.

Two other Democrats in the primary — former Sen. Gerald Hagino and neighborhood board activist Michael Lyons — are underdogs, but are well enough known in the district that they can’t be discounted. The primary winner will face Republican Charles Aki.

The Republicans have made news by fielding candidates for nearly all legislative seats after leaving 40 percent unchallenged in 2008, but equally noteworthy are the spirited Democratic primary contests in several districts.

What a difference it could make for voter participation if we had the same competition and rich choices as in Senate District 22 in all districts.

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One Comment on “Legislative slugfest on N. Shore”

  1. charles Says:

    In order for there to be “rich choices,” there needs to be people willing to run.

    You would think that with the fat 36% raises, there would be a hundred people running in every race.

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