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Lynn DeCoite Appointed District 13 Rep

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Lynn DeCoite

Molokai farmer Lynn DeCoite was named by Gov. Ige to the Hawaii State House of Representatives, District 13 seat and was sworn into office last Friday.

“I know I have a lot to learn,” said DeCoite. “I am committed to setting forth with an open mind and to do the best for District 13, the people of East Maui, Molokai and Lanai.  I am thankful for this opportunity and will not take it for granted.”

DeCoite is the owner of L&R Farm Enterprises and R.J. Snacks.  Along with her husband Russell, they run the largest sweet potato farm in the state.  A third-generation Hawaiian homesteader, she also serves as a member of the State Board of Agriculture and is the president of the Molokai Homestead Farmer’s Alliance.  She is a previous member of the Molokai Planning Commission and a graduate of Molokai High School.

“Her energy, drive and dedication to our democratic values have continually impressed me,” said Democratic Party of Hawaii Maui County Committee Chair Troy Hashimoto, adding that DeCoite has served as a delegate to the State Convention and has played a strong role in in the Democratic Party serving as president of the 8th Precinct in District 13.

DeCoite’s appointment is historic, according to Hashimoto, as the first Molokai resident to serve in state legislature in recent memory.

“This news will no doubt bring pride and joy to the island,” he said.

DeCoite will serve on the House Committee on Finance (FIN) along with the committees on Agriculture (AGR), Economic Development & Business (EDB), Tourism (TUR) and Veterans, Military, and International Affairs, and Culture and the Arts (VMI).

DeCoite will serve out the term filled by the late former Rep. Mele Carroll. Carroll had resigned on Feb. 1 for health reasons, and passed away last Wednesday at the age of 50 following a battle with cancer. She had served District 13 – Molokai, Lanai, East Maui, Kahoolawe and Molokini – as its representative since 2005.

“This is a bittersweet day for me and my family,” said DeCoite on her swearing in. “I know I have some big shoes to fill.  I am grateful for having the opportunity to get to know Rep. Carroll.  She was my Rep., my friend, and she was my family.”

DeCoite was one of three nominees selected by a 22-member committee two weeks ago, and the final decision was made by the governor. The other two nominees were Molokai’s Lori Buchanan and Lucienne de Naie from Maui.

In her presentation to the committee, DeCoite described herself as a mother, wife, business owner, community member and team leader.

“I am committed to keep my ears open and am willing to listen and work with everyone to make the State of Hawaii a better place for all of its people,” DeCoite said last Friday.

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