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Marx fights for equal representation of Neighbor Island candidates


East Hawaii attorney and Democratic Congressional candidate, Bob Marx, calls for fair representation of neighbor island candidates in statewide media.

In response to the Feb. 14 poll in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Bob Marx said the poll explicitly privileges Oahu candidates over neighbor island candidates. This, he said, is part of a broader trend in which the social and political concerns of neighbor islands are neglected by statewide media entities.

“Over 60 percent of voters in Hawaii’s second congressional district reside on a neighbor island. It is a great disservice to the neighbor island communities, whom I seek to represent in Congress, that the Honolulu Star Advertiser has framed this critical second district race as a ‘two candidate race’ between two Honolulu-based candidates,” he said.

“It is exactly this exclusion, or indifference to the concerns of rural Hawaii, that I will fight against in Congress,” Marx said.

Hawaii’s Second Congressional District includes rural Oahu from Waimanalo to Waianae, as well as Hawaii Island, Maui County, and Kauai County. Because 60 percent of voters in this district reside on a neighbor island, there has been marked public outcry to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s exclusion of neighbor island candidate and community advocate Bob Marx.

The polling methodology used by the Star-Advertiser for the 2nd Congressional District race has been drawn into question by several rural Hawaii residents.

Big Island professional Joy Hudson-San Buenaventura said, “Only 29 percent of Hawaii resident who were polled are actually from neighbor islands, and yet they represent over 60 percent of the district. That is a disparity. It’s no coincidence that the only two 2nd District candidates mentioned in the poll are from Honolulu. Rural residents and neighbor island people are always underrepresented in polls and we will vote.”

The way rural Hawaii residents vote, however, is inextricably shaped by the media.

“I have spent my career in Hawaii advocating for senior citizens, single parents, and the underemployed in rural areas when they need it the most. Hawaii needs someone who can effectively represent the neighbor islands and it’s undemocratic to see the race being defined as a two-person contest so early by the media,” Marx said.

“Families are hurting and communities are stretched thin. I have been there. This election comes down to what best serves the family. My family and my community doesn’t need more of the same; it needs new and effective leadership. I know your struggles and I am excited to meet with you on the campaign trail,” he said. “Our roads and schools are crumbling and our small farms lack infrastructure to raise their productivity. Voters deserve to know who are their options for candidates in the 2nd Congressional District, beyond those portrayed by Honolulu.”

“I am in this congressional race to win. I will continue to fight, unequivocally, for equal representation for the concerns and needs of rural Oahu, Hawaii Island, Maui County and Kauai County,” he said.

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