Josh Green retains West Hawaii Senate seat


State Sen. Josh Green will return for a second term after soundly defeating Republican Jeff LaFrance during the Tuesday night General Election.

With 11,217, or 78 percent of the votes cast, Democrat Green easily topped LaFrance, who garnered 3,152 votes, or 22 percent. Green held a commanding lead throughout the evening, with LaFrance never coming within 50 percentage points of Green.

“It’s an incredible honor to be supported by the community again this year,” said the Kona resident and ER physician. “It’s just sinking in that I’ve been sent back.”

Green, who won the state Senate District 3 seat in the 2009 primary, will represent constituents in portions of North and South Kohala, Hamakua and portions of North Kona, South Kona and Ka‘u. He previously served two terms in the state House of Representatives.

Green said late Tuesday that he is eager to return to the state Legislature following reapportionment, which added parts of Ka‘u to the district. Having spent about four years as a doctor in Naalehu, Green said he has a good connection to the area and is ready to represent constituents’ interests.

“I’m excited to represent the community,” he said. “Ka‘u is home to much of my hanai family.”

This term, Green’s priorities include securing funding for the Hawaii Community College at Palamanui Campus and West Hawaii Judiciary Complex, completing phase II of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening, and ensuring physicians are available throughout the state. In Ka‘u, Green said he will be looking at water access, agriculture concerns and improving schools.

In the last term, Green secured millions of dollars in capital improvement funds for West Hawaii. Bills he wrote and helped pass last session included one creating a Hawaii Health Corps, and hospital and a long-term care sustainability bills that bring another $64 million in federal funds to Kona Community, North Hawaii Community, Ka‘u and Kohala hospitals.