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6 candidates for Hawaii's First Congressional District share stance on local issues

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HONOLULU -

Ed Case, Doug Chin, Donna Mercado Kim, Kaniela Ing, Beth Fukumoto and Ernie Martin. 

Six democrats vying for Hawaii U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa's seat in Congress. Their comments in the Pomaikai Ballrooms in Iwilei Wednesday were directed at people involved in Hawaii's building and real estate selling industries.

The forum was hosted by the Building Industry Association of Hawaii.

Questions were submitted in advance by sponsor organizations like the American Institute of Architects Honolulu, American Civil Engineering Companies of Hawaii and the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

Questions like how to tackle Hawaii's housing shortage.

"Make sure that we have housing that is available at every single price point," Chin said. 

"Delay means money and it all adds to the cost of housing and it gets passed on to the people buying the housing. Because you're not going to build, if you're not going to make a profit," Mercado-Kim said. 

"Making sure that we have production goals. We set goals as a state and that we hold the City and County to it. That would be through funding," Fukumoto said. 

Construction work and protecting the state's endangered species... 

"This is a simple $300,000 project that should have been done within a week but here we are, three years down the line, still no light poles for my constituents, which is very disappointing because of some of these federal regulatory requirements on endangered species," Martin said. 

"If you have a very broad critical habitat designation that makes that land unavailable and at least infeasible for housing  and other use and so the question is balance," Case said. 

Or reauthorizing the national flood insurance program, which all but Ing supported.

"It's a moral hazard as a matter of fact for tax payers to keep funding these bad decisions to build these areas. We should be focused on relocating instead and reform this program," he said. 

There is one other democratic candidate on the ballot for congress: Sam Puletasi, who was not present.

Whoever wins the primary election on Aug. 11 will have to face off with republican candidates John Cipolla or Calvin Griffin in November.

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