Charmaine Tavares

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Charmaine Tavares
6th Mayor of Maui
In office
January 2, 2007[1] – January 2, 2011
Preceded by Alan Arakawa
Succeeded by Alan Arakawa
Personal details
Born 1943 (age 73–74)
Hana, Hawaii, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Hawaii at Manoa
Profession Teacher, counselor, politician

Charmaine Tavares (born 1943 Hana, Hawaii) is an American politician and teacher. Tavares served as the Mayor of Maui from January 2007 to January 2011.[1] She unsuccessfully sought a second four-year term in office in the 2010 Maui mayoral election.[1][2]


Early life[edit]

Tavares was born in 1943 in Hana, Hawaii, in eastern Maui, to Hannibal and Harriet Tavares.[3] Her father, Hannibal Tavares, served as the Mayor of Maui from 1979 until 1991, the longest tenure of any Maui mayor to date.[4][5][6][7] Tavares is the descendant of Japanese and Portuguese immigrants who settled in Hawaii.[7] Her mother, Harriet, is of Japanese descent and her father was of Portuguese descent.[7]

She attended both Kaunoa Elementary School and Maul High School, before graduating from St Anthony High School.[3] Tavares earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1967.[1] She also received a fifth-year professional diploma in education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1970.[1]


Tavares has previously worked in Hawaiian public schools as a teacher, counselor and athletic director from 1967 to 1982.[1][3] She was also the program director of the Maui Community College (MCC) Upward Bound program from 1983 until 1989.[1][3]

Tavares served as the director of the Department of Parks and Recreation for Maui County from 1989 to 1995.[1][3]

Maui County Council[edit]

Tavares was first elected to the Maui County Council in 1996. She served on the Council, representing the Upcountry Seat, from 1997 until 2006.[1] She was elected to the Maui County Council in five separate elections.[1]

Mayor of Maui[edit]

Charmaine Tavares was elected Mayor of Maui in the 2006 mayoral election. She defeated incumbent Mayor Alan Arakawa in the election and was sworn into office on January 2, 2007.[1]

Tavares announced her re-election campaign for a second four-year term in the 2010 mayoral election.[1] The mayoral primary election was held on September 18, 2010. Tavares narrowly won the mayoral primary election, taking 7,307 votes, or 25.4% of the total vote.[8] She defeated her nearest opponent, former Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa by 268 votes.[8] Arakawa placed second in the primary, receiving 7,039 votes, or 24.4% of the vote.[8] Tavares and Arakawa automatically advanced to the general election as the two top vote-getters in the primary.[8] Electric contractor Randy Piltz placed fourth with 5,602 votes (19.4%); Chris Hart placed fifth with 3,035 (10.5%); Maui Council member Sol Kaho'ohalahala came in sixth place with 2,912 votes (10.1%); businessman Marc Hodges placed seventh with 1,761 votes (6.1%).[8] Five other candidates earned a combined 1.5% of the vote.[8]

Tavares won 11 of Maui's 39 election precincts in the 2010 primary.[8] Most of these precincts were located in Central Maui.[8] Former Mayor Alan Arakawa won 23 precincts in South Maui and West Maui.[8]

Charmaine Tavares faced Alan Arakawa in the general election on November 2, 2010.[8] The election was a rematch of the 2006 Maui mayoral election, in which Tavares defeated Arakawa.[8][9][10] However, Tavares did not fare as well in the rematch, becoming one of the only Democrats in Hawaii to lose reelection to a Republican.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Mayoral candidate profiles for Maui". Lahaina News. 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Arakawa defeats Tavares in race for Maui Mayor". Hawaii News Now. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Resolution No 06-137 Expressing Appreciation to Councilmember Charmaine Tavares" (PDF). Maui County Council. 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  4. ^ Engledow, Jill (2006-07-01). "A Decade on Maui: On MNKO's 10th anniversary, we look back at how our island has changed". Maui Magazine. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  5. ^ Blackburn=Rodriguez, Tom (2006). "Talking Story with Maui's New Mayor" (PDF). Maui Style. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  6. ^ Hurley, Timothy (2002-10-23). "Growth top issue in Maui races". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  7. ^ a b c Kubota, Gary T. (2010-03-10). "Maui effort honors 2 ethnic groups". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Perry, Brian (2010-09-20). "Tavares' strength in Central Maui; Arakawa strongholds in South and West Maui". Maui News. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  9. ^ Kabuto, Gary T. (2010-09-18). "Maui mayor's race shaping up to be a re-match". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  10. ^ David, Mari-Ela (2010-09-19). "Tavares, Arakawa to square off in General Election". Maui News. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 

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