Whiting seeks House seat

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HILO — Ocean View resident Raina Whiting announced over the weekend that she’ll run for the District 5 House seat being vacated by Rep. Richard Creagan.

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HILO — Ocean View resident Raina Whiting announced over the weekend that she’ll run for the District 5 House seat being vacated by Rep. Richard Creagan.

Whiting, 30, was the elected Democratic Party national delegate for Bernie Sanders in 2016. She is the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s Hawaii County secretary and is a State Senate District 3 representative on the State Central Committee. She is also a member of the Environmental Caucus, serving as an at-large elected officer.

A former legislative aide to state Sen. Russell Ruderman, Whiting said she understands the state Legislature and is eager to bring another voice to the mix. She praised Ruderman and Creagan for acting on their principles, even if they’re bucking the status quo.

“I feel like I’m following in their footsteps,” Whiting said. “To do the right thing no matter what — we need more of that in politics.”

Whiting last year unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Councilwoman Maile David for her South Kona/Ka‘u council seat. Whiting finished with 1,275 votes to David’s 2,311.

The sprawling House district covers Naalehu to portions of Holualoa.

Whiting was previously a legal advocate for victims of domestic abuse at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. She’s served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in legal services and in education as a Teach for America corps member. She has also been active at the state capitol advocating at the Legislature for social justice issues such as education, human rights, death with dignity, labor rights, environment, coastal preservation, homelessness, child advocacy and public land access and open space issues.

She is a kindergarten teacher at Naalehu Elementary School. She is focused on community advocacy, hosting events to feed the community and providing free school supplies; and leading events that engage children in crafting and agriculture. She is the co-founder of the Ka’u Farm School and is involved in supporting family farms.

Candidate filing begins Feb. 1 for the Aug. 11 primary election.

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In addition to Whiting, the Democratic ballot in the House District 5 primary will include former Councilwoman Brenda Ford, according to campaign announcements to date.

Creagan, also a Democrat, is vacating his seat to run for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Josh Green, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor.

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