Hawaii County Council candidate James Weatherford from Lower Puna has become the first non-incumbent to be guaranteed 100 percent public funding for his campaign.
The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission certified James Weatherford March 31 to participate in the new Pilot Comprehensive Public Funding Project in the 2010 Elections.
To receive certification for this funding, a candidate must complete an application process that includes collecting signatures from 200 registered voters in the District, with each signature accompanied by a five-dollar contribution to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund.
“It was a difficult task to get those 200 signatures, but it was a worthwhile task, because I got to hear from lots of constituents in the district. What I heard was that people want credible leadership,” Weatherford said.
The pilot project, the first in the State to offer complete public funding for candidates, is a trial step toward taking private money out of election campaigns. It establishes comprehensive public funding as a voluntary option in Hawaii County Council elections this year, and in 2012 and 2014.
Weatherford is the first candidate in Council District 5, and the first non-incumbent candidate in the County, to be certified for comprehensive public funding.
Three other people have announced their candidacy for the District 5 Council seat.
Emily Naeole-Beason, the incumbent, and Barbara Lively, have also chosen to participate in the comprehensive public funding project, although neither has completed the application process.
Loren Baker is seeking partial public funding under a different program.
Four candidates in other Council districts, all incumbents, have been certified for 100 public funding.
Weatherford’s campaign committee will receive $9,826 from the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund during the Primary Election. Private monetary or non-monetary contributions to the campaign are not allowed, but individuals may contribute their time to the campaign as volunteers.
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