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2022 candidate interview: Matthias Kusch for Hawaiʻi County Council District 2

Matthias Kusch.jpg
Courtesy Matthias Kusch
Matthias Kusch, candidate for Hawaiʻi County Council District 2, in Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island.

Forty votes. That’s all that separated the top two candidates in the race for Hawaiʻi County Council District 2 during the August primary election. The district covers Hilo Bayfront to Waianuenue and much of the central part of the island, including Maunakea.

The seat is currently occupied by Aaron Chung, who is term-limited this year. So fresh faces are vying for one of the most populated districts on the Big Island. Former fire battalion chief Matthias Kusch faces off against Jenn Kagiwada, a legislative assistant for the council. They went to the same high school — not here in Hawaiʻi, but in Davis, California.

The Conversation talked to Kusch about affordable housing, managing tourism, cesspool conversions and more.

Our interview with Jenn Kagiwada aired on Thursday, Oct. 13. The two will also face off in a forum sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

Unsure which Hawaiʻi County Council district you live in? Click here to view your sample ballot.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Oct. 12, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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