Eighteen candidates are vying for six seats on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees this year, with promises to address affordable housing for the community, homelessness, education and more.
The election comes at a critical time as the semi-autonomous state agency is poised to receive more revenue from public lands than in past years.
Those who win their races will help decide how to spend the money. OHA currently gets $15.1 million each year from public land revenues, but that amount will rise to $21.5 million if Gov. David Ige signs Senate Bill 2021. That would be the first increase since 2006.
The competition for three at-large seats is the most crowded field, with 11 candidates in the running, while four people are seeking the Oahu seat. Those races will be on the ballot in the Aug. 13 primary, which will whittle the candidates down to two for each seat.