Starting Tuesday, many candidates seeking political office in Hawaii can start completing nomination paperwork so long as the races aren’t affected by an ongoing legal challenge over legislative and congressional districts.

Candidates seeking one of the 76 seats in the Legislature — the 25 Senate and the 51 House seats — won’t be able to file their nomination papers, however, until the Hawaii Supreme Court resolves a legal dispute between a group of residents and the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission. The same goes for the 1st and 2nd congressional districts.

But according to the Hawaii Office of Elections on Monday candidates for U.S. senator, governor, lieutenant governor and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs can all file campaign paperwork with the state Office of Elections. The closing deadline is June 7 and the primary is Aug. 13.

Candidates for county offices like the mayors of Maui and Kauai and councilmembers for each county can also start pulling paperwork beginning Tuesday. For the City and County of Honolulu, even-numbered seats 2, 4, 6 and 8 are up for election this year.

Makai side of the Capitol with construction barrier in place.
Candidates for statewide political office, except those in the Legislature, may start filing nomination paperwork on Tuesday. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

But things are on hold for the Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives. That’s because residents from Oahu, Maui and the Big Island contend that legislative maps drawn by the reapportionment commission do not follow criteria laid out in the state constitution and in state laws.

The court gave the state until Thursday to file an answer to the citizen’s petition but later extended it until March 11.

The reapportionment commission needs time to consult with its attorneys and may do that at a meeting tentatively scheduled for March 7 or March 8, according to a court declaration filed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Lori Tanigawa.

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