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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 25, 2006

There's still time to run for Isle political office

When folks complain about the state of politics and quality of government, the politically correct response is to remind them that if they don't vote, they have no right to beef.

But there's another level of participation that is even more important than voting: Actually standing for office.

The deadline to file to run in this year's election is 4:30 p.m. today. There are more than a few opportunities awaiting those willing to put their money (and the next few months of their time) where their mouth is.

As of this writing, there were 24 legislative seats (nearly one third!) in the state Legislature in which the incumbent is unopposed. In addition, there are an unusually high number of vacancies (10 at last count) where the incumbent has chosen not to run for re-election.

That makes for a lot of opportunities and guaranteed turnover before the 2007 session begins. In addition, there are county council races, Board of Education slots and more to attract interested candidates.

So why not jump in? The filing costs are minimal and the requirements (you must be a registered voter and have collected the signatures of a couple-dozen supporters on your nominating petition) are far from onerous.

If you, or someone you know, has been sitting on the fence, today is the day to kick into action. Who knows? You might win, and then you would be part of the solution rather than just another person complaining about the problem.

(For more information on how to become a candidate, go to the Web site of the state Office of Elections, hawaii.gov/elections.)