After the Primary
By Barbara Haliniak
On May 21, I filed my campaign nomination papers for State House District 13 which gave me only 80 days to actively campaign before the Aug. 9 Primary Election. Therefore, it was a crunch campaign for my run against an eight-year incumbent. And since I chose not to solicit campaign contributions for this election, the money contributed was from friends, family and my own funds, which resulted in limited trips to Maui including a trip to Hana, suppressed any trips specifically for sign waving activities on Hana Highway and only one trip to Lanai. Although it was a low budget short campaign, I felt I ran a good campaign with a passionate heart to bring positive outcomes for District 13 communities (Molokai, Lanai, Hana, Haiku, Paia and East Maui).
We often hear about political shenanigans, and it happened in this year’s campaign. On June 27, we placed about 10 campaign signs for my name recognition around the Paia and Haiku areas which both carried a large number of registered voters. On July 17 before attending a Haiku Community Association meeting at the Haiku Community Center, I drove around the Paia and Haiku areas to make sure that my signs were still intact. To my surprise and dismay, there were only two signs left intact, the rest were gone without a trace. Yet, in my 2012 bid for the senate seat, the 30 signs we placed in upcountry and along the same Hana Highway area in Paia all stayed intact, which we eventually removed after the primary election. So what was the difference between the 2012 to 2014 campaign? Has the times changed where a campaign sign can make or break an election?
I would like to end this article by quoting former Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim’s response to a question in the July 2014 Hawaii Business magazine issue, “Do you think that people who care, and have the ability to lead, have an obligation to lead?”
Excerpts from Harry Kim’s response to HB: “I think it is your obligation. Leadership is about people trusting and following; if you don’t have that, you’re not the leader anyway. But if you have that trust, and people believe in you to make those changes, then I believe you have a moral obligation to step forward. Especially if there’s a situation where you know you can make things better.”
I believed that I have that trust and it was my moral obligation to step forward to make things better, therefore, I entered into this past campaign. To the many people who helped me in my campaign, a heartfelt thank you.
With sincerity and aloha, mahalo for your trust and your vote.