What Happens to Vacated Board of Education Seat?

Former Hawaii State Board of Education member Breene Harimoto resigned from his Leeward District seat in June to run in the Honolulu City Council elections.

After the July 20 filing deadline passed, 18 candidates had put their names in the hat to run for six other open education board seats, but Harimoto's seat was not listed. And then on July 26, Gov. Linda Lingle announced her temporary appointment of former Moanalua Middle School principal Caroline Wong to the seat "until a new member is elected in the November General Election to serve out the remaining two years of Harimoto's term."

The governor's statement didn't satisfy my curiosity about what would happen to the now-vacant board seat if no one was running for it, so I called Alex Da Silva at the board. He said he knows there will be a separate filing period for those interested in running for the Leeward District seat, but he wasn't sure when the filing period would be.

Rex Quidilla at the Office of Elections confirmed, saying the election for Harimoto's seat qualifies as a special election, since his term was incomplete when he resigned. The filing period for those running for the seat will be announced as part of a proclamation on the commission's website, Quidilla said, but the election will be held in conjunction with the November General Election.

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