Dems send 3 names to Gov to replace Rep Mele Carroll

The District 13 Democratic Party Council met today to choose the three names submitted to Governor Ige to replace Mele Carroll who is retiring for health reasons.

The three names were:

Lori Buchanan of Moloka’i – Coordinator of Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee, former Planning Commission member, small business person, advocate for Moloka’i small farmers and a supporter of the ahumoku system.  She has extensive experience with the Legislature in her work on agriculture, natural resource management, planning and cultural protection.  She comes from a distinguished family which includes Walter Ritte.

Lucienne de Naie of Huelo – former member of GPAC, active in numerous community organizations and frequent testifier at the county and state level, known for her encyclopedic knowledge of the state laws, history and issues.  She formerly ran for Maui County Council East Maui seat and won the majority of votes in district 13.

Lynn DeCoite of Moloka’i – member of the famous farming family of Maui County.  Formerly well known for her sweet potato farm and for shepherding visiting dignitaries around Moloka’i, she has lately branched out to grow Monsanto seed corn.  She has worked to offset the negative impacts of the Food Modernization bill on smaller farmers by working to get the state to pay for some of its onerous requirements.

The controversy which is already swirling around DeCoite is reflective of the split between Moloka’i and the rest of District 13.  Moloka’i voters comprise fewer than a quarter of the district’s voters in the last election.

Although District 13 voted yes on the GMO Moratorium 59% to 41%, Moloka’i voted against the Moratorium 65% to 35%.  Both Dow and Monsanto are large employers on tiny Moloka’i and spent $8 million trying unsuccessfully to defeat the initiative. They’re now challenging it in court.

Moloka’i voters comprised 23% of last elections’ District 13 voters which is why the 77% of non-Moloka’i voters in the district were able to decisively pass the GMO Moratorium despite much of Moloka’i opposing it.

All three picks are respected and active in their communities.  However the GMO Moratorium is very popular in the district as a whole.  Will the governor pick controversial pro-GMO Lynn DeCoite or one of the other candidates who kept a more low profile in the GMO controversy?

Democratic Press Release:

February 14, 2015
Contact: Troy Hashimoto, (808) 249-0333


KAUNAKAKAI, Hawai‘i – The House District 13 Council Nominating Committee has completed its selection process and has forwarded three names to the governor.

“I am extremely impressed with the three applicants that we forwarded to the governor for consideration,” said Emillia Noordhoek, District 13 Council Vice-Chair who ran the proceedings.

“All were well-qualified, thoughtful and I know we can be proud to call one of them our representative. I appreciate their willingness to step-up and serve in this important role,” she said.

The top three names that have been transmitted to the governor in alphabetical order include:

Lori Buchanan of Molokai who is a field outreach coordinator for the Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee and the co-owner of Molokai Security Service. She serves as a member of the Molokai Planning Commission and a member of the Marine and Coastal Zone Advisory Council. She also serves as a commissioner for the Legacy Lands Conversation Commission.

Lynn DeCoite of Molokai is the owner of L&R Farm Enterprises and R.J. Snacks. She serves as a board 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.

Lucienne De Naie of Huelo is self-employed consultant. She serves as the secretary of the Haiku Community Association and is a member of the Maui Cultural Lands Advisory Board. She is a founding board member of the Haiku Living Legacy Project and a co-founder of the Haiku Living Legacy Project. She is a graduate of UC Irvine and UCLA.

“I want to thank the District 13 Council for their hard work and diligence in considering all applicants,” said Troy Hashimoto, Chair of the Maui County Democratic Party.

“The Maui County Democratic Party looks forward to working with the governors selection to help move our Democratic values forward at the state legislature,” he added.

Other applicants that were considered include Shay Chan Hodges of Haiku, Scott Crawford of Hana, Alberta De Jetley of Lanai, David Fry of Haiku, Barbara Haliniak of Molokai, Susan “Netra” Halperin of Haiku, Lance Holter of Paia, Robert Parsons of Haiku, Kay Okamoto of Lanai and Noelani Yamshita of Molokai.

“It is my hope that the governor will make a decision on the replacement sooner than later, so that one of the most unique districts, the 13th District, can once again have representation in the State House. It is an especially important time, as many bills are being actively considered,” said Hashimoto.

For any questions or more information, contact Maui County Party Chair Troy Hashimoto via e-mail at or by phone at (808) 249-0333.