Rep. Barbara Marumoto Won’t Seek Re-Election

Hawaii State Rep. Barbara Marumoto, (R-Kahala, Kaimuki) will not be running in the 2012 election. She is one of the most senior members of the House and one of just 8 Republicans in the 51-member House of Representatives. She has been in the House since 1978 – for 34 years – and has served on many key legislative committees, including House Finance, Judiciary, and Consumer Protection and Commerce.

Marumoto said in an email statement today: “It has been an honor to serve in the House of Representatives and a privilege to serve the good people of the State of Hawaii.  I will be at my desk until the general election and continue to work in the community thereafter.”

Marumoto focused her efforts on such proposals as tax holidays, preventing Gov. Neil Abercrombie from taxing retirement pensions, and keeping children safe by mandating helmets on recreational vehicles and preventing them from riding in the back of pick up trucks.

Before serving in the House, she was a delegate in the 1978 state Constitutional Convention. That was the last ConCon held in Hawaii.

David Chang, chair of the Hawaii GOP, said: “Rep. Marumoto will be missed. Her steady presence and leadership at the Capitol as well as her dedication to her community and the State of Hawaii has been truly exemplary. Representative Marumoto’s contribution to the well-being of our beloved State has been outstanding and she is a role model for all public officeholders  and for our future candidates.”

Chang added: “Representative Marumoto has paved the way for the next generation of Republican leaders.  We look forward to her continued wisdom and counsel to be provided to those of us of the younger generation stepping up to continue her legacy.”

The retirement of the well known, popular Republican will likely ensure the seat goes to freshman Rep. Mark Hashem, a Democrat who through reapportionment, would have been pitted against Marumoto in the next election.

Governor – Making New Friends

In order to boost relations between Hawaii and New Zealand, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and other Hawaii officials will meet with His Majesty King Tuheitia, the seventh Maori monarch of Aotearoa (New Zealand).

At the Tuesday meeting, they will look for ways to forward “an exchange of friendship between the two island cultures. His Majesty King Tuheitia and Royal Family, as well as Governor Neil Abercrombie, Agnes “Aunty Aggie” Kalaniho’okaha Cope, Kahu Kamaki Kanahele and Kalena Hew Len and other dignitaries will attend.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, “King Tuheitia and his delegation are completing a week-long stay in Hawai’i, which has included visits to the Dr. Agnes Kalaniho’okaha Native Hawaiian Traditional Healing Center, Bishop Museum, East-West Center, Kamehameha Schools, Kualoa Ranch, and St. Andrew Cathedral and Priory.”

Maui Mayors Endorse Mufi Hannemann for Congress

Mayor Alan Arakawa and former mayors Charmaine Tavares and James “Kimo” Apana announced yesterday they are endorsing former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann for Congress in Hawaii’s 2nd District. Maui County Council Member Gladys Baisa also is serving as an honorary co-chair of Hannemann’s campaign.

Hannemann is a Democrat who served as Honolulu mayor from 2004 to 2010.

In a written statement, Arakawa, a Republican, said, “It’s a pleasure to support Mufi, whom I’ve known for many years, because I greatly respect him as a public servant and civic-minded citizen who has devoted so much of his life to the betterment of Hawaii. There’s no better candidate to represent the County of Maui in Congress than Mufi, who brings executive experience as a Mayor who has balanced a budget, worked closely with the private sector to stimulate the economy and knows firsthand the kind of federal support we need at the local level. Mufi’s exceptional record of achievement will allow him to be effective in Washington, D.C. from day one.”

Tavares said, “I enjoyed working with Mufi when we were members of the Hawaii Council of Mayors. He brought a collaborative approach to our decision-making, helped forge excellent relationships with the Legislature and U.S. Conference of Mayors, and involved our county team in effective private sector partnerships with the visitor industry. Congress and Hawaii need Mufi’s brand of bipartisan leadership and his deft, island-style touch in building personal relationships with diverse constituencies.”

Apana said, “The people of Maui County, and all of Hawaii for that matter, can rest assured that Mufi Hannemann is committed to the core principles and values of working class people. He’ll preserve Social Security, Medicare, and other benefits that are so vital to our seniors, as well as bring improvements to education. His incomparable experience in the public and private arenas and proven leadership make him the ideal choice for Congress.”

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