An East Honolulu and Windward Oahu state senate race will pit veteran lawmaker Fred Hemmings against the daughter of a fellow Republican. But, Laura Thielen is a Democrat making her first run for a key office.
Former state senator Fred Hemmings retired from his State Capitol job two years ago. But, now he wants back in.
Standing in his way is Thielen, daughter of Rep. Cynthia Thielen.
The former state land director under Gov. Linda Lingle decided to get off the sidelines and jump into the senate race after watching the creation of the Public Land Development Corporation.
"That is a very short-term approach to raising revenue and it hurts community and our natural resources," said Thielen.
Our cameras caught up with Thielen, who has been putting down roots as a small farmer at a Waimanalo nursery checking out plants needed for an upcoming community Makahiki. She worries about the PLDC structure which could exempt development of state land from zoning and other reviews.
"Here in Waimanalo, we have lots of agricultural lands, much of it owned by the state," said Thielen. "It could put a resort back here, a golf course, a high-rise back here, whatever it wanted and that law needs to be changed or repealed."
Hemmings, a former world champion surfer and sports businessman wasn't around when the legislature created the entity this past session.
"I am very much an environmentalist and conservationist," said Hemmings.
Both candidates are against the steel-on-steel rail project. But, it's spending and taxes that Hemmings believes is what sets them apart.
But Thielen, an attorney, points to her school board and land board experience as helping her with a deeper understanding of budgets than most lawmakers.
More than anything, Hemmings believes the legislature needs more Republicans for a more healthy political system which has long been dominated by Democrats.
"We do need the checks and balances of the two-party system and we do need the voices to bring up against a monopoly government and I want to be one of those voice," said Hemmings.
Hemmings says he has been loyal to his party, compared to his opponent who some Democrats fought to keep from running on their ticket.
Thielen says she supports Democrat Party principles. She considers her recent history working with a Republican administration as bipartisan.
"Bipartisanship means working with the other party, not for it. There is a big difference," said Hemmings.
Voters have the choice of two candidates, both who believe their time in government service isn't over yet.