HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s a crowded race for Maui County mayor with eight candidates fighting to be the county’s next leader. Political analysts said there’s no clear winner shaking things up for the primary election.
“The Maui’s mayor’s race is one of the most interesting races across the state that we have this time around,” said John Hart, KHON2’s political analyst.
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Thursday, three candidates had the chance to square off in a debate, including former Judge Richard Bissen, Veteran County Councilmember Kelly King, and incumbent Michael Victorino. Over tourism and affordable housing are among the topics tackled.
“We’re not waiting and we’re pushing forward, but more importantly we get push back from the council sometimes and it makes it difficult for our partners like good developers, but rentals are what we need,” said Michael Victorino, Mayor of Maui County.
“There has to be mix-use communities, because it would cut down traffic if we are living working and playing in one community which is not how this island has been designed,” said Kelly King, Maui County Councilmember and candidate for Maui County mayor.
“We don’t believe Sears is coming back or Sports Authority, so we need more housing and less stores,” said Richard Bissen, a former Judge and candidate for Maui County mayor. “People aren’t going to brick and motor places so we need to build there, because there’s already water and sewer rather than building on pristine areas.”
The candidates were also asked how the $1 billion county budget can serve residents. Other topics covered included homelessness and inflation.
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Another forum will be held on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with the remaining five candidates. For more information on that livestream, click here.