Members of the Maui County Democratic Party’s Senate District 7 selection body chose three names on Saturday to send to Gov. David Ige for his consideration to fill the vacancy created by the recent retirement of Senator J. Kalani English

They are:

  • Lynn DeCoite of Hoolehua, Molokai, the current representative for House District 13 and a small business owner, farmer and rancher;
  • Yuki Lei Sugimura of Kula, Maui, the current County Council member representing Upcountry Maui who has served as the vice chair of the Maui County Democratic Party; and
  • Leo Caires of Kula, Maui, a community leader, agricultural business owner, and renewable energy executive.

The three names, according to a press release, were narrowed down from six total applicants. Ige has until June 30 to name the new senator.

“These three candidates have deep roots in the district and I am confident that all of them would represent the ‘canoe district’ well. All three possess a small business background, which will help to guide Maui Nui and the entire state toward economic recovery,” said Democratic Party of Hawaii Chair Tyler Dos Santos-Tam.

“Today’s selection process embodied grassroots democracy in action,” said Jonathan Starr, chair of the party’s District 13 Council. “This process showed the passion of Maui Democrats to be involved in the community. Democrats love to participate in this type of process.”

The meeting, conducted over Zoom and broadcast over Facebook live, was held on Saturday morning.

Yuki Lei Sugimura. Courtesy: Democratic Party of Hawaii/2021
Lynn DeCoite. DPH
Leo Caires. DPH




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