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How HSTA determines candidate recommendations during an election year

The process includes a questionnaire, interview, input from several committees, and board approval

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has supported candidates for governor, and state and congressional House and Senate for decades. This year, the union decided to make recommendations on a county level.

This is a general timeline of our candidate recommendations process for the 2020 elections. All committee meetings and candidate interviews took place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

February and March: HSTA’s Government Relations Committee (GRC), which is made up of member volunteers from each chapter, reviews and finalizes pertinent guidelines and programs, candidate questionnaires, rubrics, and recommendation timeline.

March: Questionnaires are reviewed by HSTA’s Board of Directors (BOD), then sent to incumbents and other candidates who apply for a nomination paper with a cover letter explaining HSTA’s candidate recommendation timeline.

March and April: HSTA invites membership to serve on interview committees organized by chapter GRC chairs. All members are invited to sit in on interviews and deliberations. Interview committees also include a chapter BOD member and/or the chapter president or their designees.

May 1: Deadline for completed candidate questionnaires to be received by HSTA.

April 12–May 10: GRC trains chapter members virtually to conduct chapter interviews.

May 11–28: Chapters conduct interviews for state House and Senate and applicable county races. Chapter executive boards make determinations on races with incumbents that do not require interviews. HSTA’s Lobbying Team provides incumbent candidate input to chapter executive boards on the 2020 legislative session and/or other legislative sessions/county races.

June: GRC provides primary election recommendations to HSTA. BOD approves by a majority vote to accept GRC recommendations or to reject by a two-thirds vote. Recommendations are distributed to members and released to the public.

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