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Governor Abercrombie and Senator Ige to square off at candidate forum in Waimea tomorrow

Governor Neil Abercrombie and Senator David Ige, the leading candidates in the primary race for governor, will appear side by side for the first time on Hawai’i Island on Wednesday, July 23. The two veteran Democrats will field questions at an evening gubernatorial forum, 5 -7 p.m., at the Waimea School cafeteria.

Everyone is invited to the free community event. It is the only gubernatorial forum scheduled on Hawai’i Island before the start of walk-in absentee voting on July 28.

There is keen interest in the forum, as the incumbent governor and his State Senate challenger are locked in a tight primary race.

The candidate forum is sponsored by the Waimea Community Association. Other co-hosts include Waimea’s Lalamilo Farmers, Friends of the Future, Tutu’s House, Mala’ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School, North Hawai’i Rotary, Parker School, Waimea Town Market, Waimea Preservation Association, Coqui Free Waimea, Habitat for Humanity – West Hawai’i and Waimea Middle School.

The forum will be moderated by Hawai’i Island newswoman Sherry Bracken. She reports regularly on Big Island news and issues for statewide Hawai’i Public Radio. Bracken is also the public affairs director for Mahalo Broadcasting and host of their Sunday interview show “Island Issues” for LAVA 105.3fm and KKOA 107.7fm.

Questions for the forum will primarily address issues impacting Hawai’i Island and will come from the co-sponsoring groups. The community is also invited to submit questions before 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 23. Questions may be emailed to Due to time constraints, not all questions will be addressed.

The forum will be taped by Big Island Video News and Na Leo ‘O Hawai’i Community Television for later viewing.

Both candidates have been invited to bring candidate literature to share with the public. However, no candidate signs or banners are permitted as the forum is a voter education event, not a rally.

As always at WCA Town Meetings, complimentary coffee will be provided by Starbucks and snacks will be provided by sponsoring groups. Attendees are urged to support the Waimea Food Pantry with donations. Cash, checks or non-perishable foods are welcome and receipts will be available.

For more information, visit, or call WCA President Sherman Warner at 885-1725 or Patti Cook at 937-2833.