North Shore Loses Top Environmental Advocate in House Race

Flickr: achimh

The push to keep the North Shore country has lost one of its chief advocates.

In a surprising upset, Rep. Gil Riviere, known for his support of environmental measures, narrowly lost the Republican primary to rival Richard Fale, who backs North Shore development plans.

Fale will now face Democratic challenger, Danielle Ululani Beirne, for the House District 67 seat in the Nov. 6 general election.

And this has North Shore environmental groups and some residents concerned.

“It’s devastating,” said Haleiwa resident, Alan Lennard, of Riviere’s loss. “It’s going to be the lesser of two evils. Fale is the greater of two evils.”

Lennard, like other Riviere supporters, said he usually voted Democratic but crossed party lines for the candidate that has been a big supporter of environmental issues.

In a peculiarity of Hawaii politics, Republicans have a track record of championing environmental causes in the Legislature, recently putting Democrats on the defensive for attempts to limit environmental controls that they say are stunting development and job creation.

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