Former Maui County Council member Don Couch announced that he is seeking South Maui’s seat in the Hawaii State House on Tuesday.
Couch was elected to three consecutive two-year terms on the Maui County Council and served as chairman of the council’s Planning Committee for six years; vice-chairman of the council’s Policy & Inter-governmental Affairs Committee; and Deputy County Planning Director.
He has been a Kihei Community Association board member and volunteer, and currently is Executive Assistant to Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, a position which includes serving as a liaison between Maui County and the Hawaii state legislature.
Couch is running as a Democrat to represent State House District 11 which includes Kihei, Wailea and Makena.
As a Maui County Council member, Couch fought for construction of Kihei’s Liloa Street roundabout and was also a founding member of Kihei’s “Fourth Friday Town Party.” In his current position in Arakawa’s administration, he is working with the legislature and the Department of Education to determine the safest pedestrian access to the future Kihei high school.
“I know how to go about getting things done at the state legislature,” Couch said. “It starts with a representative who understands complex legislative processes and works well with legislators, one who is committed to his community and actually lives and works here.
“The South Maui representative must be available 24/7 and have the knowledge and discipline to move forward on much-needed affordable housing; the too-long-delayed Kihei high school; our increasing homeless problem; and rational and responsible development that protects our land, water, beaches, and ocean,” Couch said in his formal announcement. “The devil is in the details. We know what South Maui needs. The challenge is how to successfully work with the community and state legislature to get these needs met. I know how to do that.
He continued, “I have the experience and proven skill-set essential to advancing South Maui’s interests. For over 27 years I have lived in and served this community, not only as an elected official but also as an administrator, community leader, volunteer and neighbor. South Maui is a vibrant community and I am committed to helping strengthen it economically, environmentally, and educationally.”