WAILUKU, Maui — A Maui man who sued the county over allegations he was pressured to stop working on a Facebook page is running for mayor.
Neldon Mamuad told the Maui News that he believes he can deny Mayor Alan Arakawa a third term in office.
Mamuad had been a part-time aide to Council Member Don Guzman and a volunteer member of the county Liquor Control Commission. He resigned both roles to run for office.
Mamuad was an administrator of the “MAUIWatch” Facebook page, which includes posts about news and traffic. He said he sued the county after a complaint was filed against him about his posts. According to the lawsuit, Mamuad was pressured to shut down the page. His lawsuit was settled out of court for $25,000 last month.
Mamuad said he is not angry and his campaign is not a vendetta.
“It’s definitely not personal,” he said. “We just want to give people a choice. We’re convinced that our campaign is a grass-roots community effort to deliver change for Maui County.”
Mamuad said his treatment by the Arakawa administration would not be the sole focus of his campaign, and that “there are a lot more issues to bring forth.”
He declined to offer a platform or state what he would change.
Mamuad said the litigation led to a “groundswell of community interest.” That convinced him that there’s “enough grass-roots support to make a serious run for the mayor’s office.”
“People were egging me on a little bit,” he said.