Is Hawaii headed in the right direction, and if not, what are these people going to do about it?

From would-be governors to county council hopefuls, Civil Beat is emailing surveys this week to 395 candidates for public office in the islands.

Their responses will be published in the weeks leading up to Hawaii’s Aug. 13 primary. Primary mail ballots will be in the hands of many voters by July 26. 

Our Candidate Q&As have proven popular with readers in recent years, attracting thousands of views as voters compare the candidates’ policy stands and backgrounds.

Election illustration of a candidate being interviewed
Illustration by Kalany Omengkar/Civil Beat 

But while the percentage of candidates responding to our surveys continues to increase, some of them never do answer the questions. You can probably blame that on the overconfidence of incumbents in some cases — or maybe it’s not overconfidence, since current officeholders often enjoy the advantages of name familiarity and burgeoning campaign war chests.

The Q&As are one way Civil Beat tries to level the playing field, with all candidates treated the same. They also are all invited to write their own pieces explaining who they are and their views on issues for our Candidate Forum.

Because we believe our readers deserve to know the views of every elected official, we email the surveys even to candidates who are unopposed in the primary and in some cases all the way through the Nov. 8 general election. 

Whenever possible, however, we will prioritize publishing the responses of candidates in contested primary races.

Each Q&A will describe the geographic areas candidates are hoping to represent and include links to their opponents if their survey responses are available, along with other links to the Primary Election Ballot and Elections Guide.

If you’re a candidate for any office in Hawaii, check your email. If you can’t find Civil Beat’s survey, let us know at and we’ll make sure you don’t miss this chance to connect with voters.

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