With the general election less than two months away, a challenge against Council Chair Danny Mateo that argues he’s ineligible to run for reelection because of term limits is moving to the state Supreme Court.
The challenge—brought by Nellie Laird-Woods of Lahaina—hinges on a portion of the County Charter that prohibits Councilmembers from serving “more than five consecutive full terms in office.” Mateo was appointed to the Molokai seat in 2002 after the death of Councilmember Pat Kawano and went on to win reelection three times. He’s running unopposed this year and, according to Laird-Woods’s interpretation, will have violated the Charter by the end of his next term.
County Clerk Jeff Kuwada dismissed the challenge in August, and earlier this month the Second Circuit Court punted the issue, citing lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court petition claims Kuwada “utterly failed to perform his duty” and asks for “a judgement disqualifying [Mateo] from running for the office of Councilmember.”
You can read the complete text of the Supreme Court petition here