Think About It: Race Relations - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

June 11, 2012

Think About It: Race Relations

The list of candidates for local offices is now official, as the sign-up deadline has come and gone. In some cases, nobody signed up to compete against the incumbent. Sad but true, but in just over 20% of the state legislature races, there is only one candidate, the incumbent, who will therefore walk into office without any opposition this summer or fall. It is hard to fathom how entire districts can be without someone who thinks that he or she can do a better job representing their constituents.

Yet, here we are in 2012 with 11 state House positions and five state Senate positions with no opposition. That means we have16 walkover races in our legislature. There were 13 total uncontested legislative races back in 2002- so this is not a new phenomenon, disturbing though it may be. Now opposition in Hawaii can be real quality, or it can be a joke, like in 1998 when Senator Inouye's Republican opponent, an astrologer, filed with the Federal Election Commission that she had raised and spent $37.29 with less than a month left before the election.

But the bottom line is this, competition usually helps hones people's skills, makes them sit up and take notice, makes them more accountable, and hopefully, makes them better at whatever it is they do. Apparently, not a lot of people are interested in stepping forward in some areas to try and make a difference through the political system. And this just adds to the list of why Hawaii's voting record is one of the nation's worst year after year. Think about it…


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