Mufi with Hawai'i County mayoral candidate Prosecutor Mitch Roth at a Pacific Century Fellows event at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in 2017.
The Hawai'i Lodging & Tourism Association takes pride in its government affairs work and its advocacy on behalf of the local tourism industry, and I have always put great emphasis on representing the interests of our industry and the Hawai'i community before our State and county governments.
As such, I am excited to announce that the following candidates have been endorsed by HLTA in the general election:
Hawai‘i State Senate
Gil S. Coloma Keith-Agaran, District 5
Stanley Chang, District 9
Kelly Kitashima, District 16 Special Election
Kurt Fevella, District 19
Donovan Dela Cruz, District 22
Hawai‘i State House of Representatives
Chris Todd, District 2
Richard Onishi, District 3
Justin Woodson, District 9
Lynn DeCoite, District 13
Nadine Nakamura, District 14
James Kunane Tokioka, District 15
Gene Ward, District 17
Mark Hashem, District 18
Adrian Tam, District 22
Sam Kong, District 33
Gregg Takayama, District 34
Trish La Chica, District 36
Ryan Yamane, District 37
Ty Cullen, District 39
Bob McDermott, District 40
David Alcos, District 41
Stacelynn Eli, District 43
Cedric Gates, District 44
Lauren Cheape Matsumoto, District 45
Sean Quinlan, District 47
Scot Matayoshi, District 49
Patrick Branco, District 50
Kaua‘i County Council – At-Large Candidates
Bernard Carvalho Jr.
Jade Waialeale Battad
Maui County Council
Claire Kamalu Carroll, East Maui
Rick Nava, West Maui
Alice Lee, Wailuku-Waihe‘e-Waikapū
Yuki Lei Sugimura, Upcountry
Tasha Kama, Kahului
Tom Cook, South Maui
Alberta De Jetley, Lāna‘i
Stacy Helm Crivello, Moloka‘i
Keith Amemiya or Rick Blangiardi - Open
Honolulu City Council
Esther Kiaʻāina, District 3
Jacob Aki, District 7
Augusto E. Tulba, District 9
Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney
Hawai‘i County Council
Dominic Yagong, District 1
Hawai‘i County Mayor
Many of these endorsements should come as no surprise as several candidates have long been friends to our industry. Among our endorsements for election to the Hawai'i State Legislature, you will find the names of more than a few incumbents who have already shown their willingness to work with the tourism sector.
On the county front, however, HLTA opted to endorse a mix of newcomers and political veterans. In the Hawai'i County mayoral race, HLTA has endorsed Mitch Roth who we backed for the top job in the Prosecutor's Office back in 2016. In the years since, he has done an outstanding job working closely with the hospitality industry to create a safe community for residents and visitors alike.
In the Honolulu mayoral race however, our endorsement committee was unable to come to a decision between political newcomers Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya. While both candidates impressed committee members with their business-oriented goals and expressed eagerness to work with industry stakeholders to rebuild Hawai'i's top economic driver, the committee, and ultimately, our Board of Directors, decided to remain open or neutral in this race.
Each of the candidates that we have endorsed for the Honolulu City Council are first-time candidates for their seats. In reviewing their questionnaires, they showed an exceptional grasp of the issues and signaled their support for our industry. On the neighbor islands, we chose to endorse candidates that we felt would work in close correlation with their respective county mayors who we have supported in previous elections.
Over the next week, we will begin sharing more detailed information about candidates in key races on our website. When this page goes live, we will send out more notice on the details. Please make sure to share it with all of your associates so that they may see exactly which candidates will champion our local tourism industry in the halls of government
Mufi is pictured above with Honolulu City Council candidate Augie Tulba.
It is not too late to register to vote in the upcoming general election! Below, you will find key dates and how to register to vote- even if you did not vote in the primary.
November 3, 2020
Voting closes at 7:000 p.m.
VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE
October 5, 2020
BALLOT MAIL-OUT DATE
County of Hawai'i: October 7, 2020
County of Maui: October 8, 2020
County of Kaua'i: October 9, 2020
City and County of Honolulu: October 5 & 6, 2020
REGISTER HERE TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER
Other Topics of Interest
In yesterday's top story, KHON covered the readiness of local hotels for the re-opening of trans-Pacific travel which will begin on October 15. My comments on the matter focused on the fact that October 15 is a hard, confirmed date, and that the entire industry will have to go to great lengths to change the perception that Hawai'i isn't open for business. The online article also posted HLTA's Health, Safety, & Security Standards that have been approved by the State Department of Health.
In other tourism-related news, Hawaii News Now reported that the Maui Invitational basketball tourney is being moved from Hawai'i to North Carolina. This will mark the first time in the tournament's 36-year history that it will not be held on Maui, and we cannot take it for granted or assume that this prestigious basketball tournament will return automatically in 2021. This highlights the importance of sports tourism to our economy and the need for our tourism officials and government leaders to develop a pro-active strategy to keep in Hawai'i these quality events that have been synonymous with Hawai'i from a visitor and local perspective.
Stay in the know
Keep up with HLTA through our blog! Let us know what you think in the comment box below each post.