Michael Howden, who works in acupuncture and lives in Kula, today asked the state Office of Elections for a declaratory ruling on whether former state Sen. Robert Bunda’s nomination papers for lieutenant governor are invalid.
Bunda notified the Senate president and the Senate clerk of his intent to resign on July 14 and submitted his resignation to the Office of Elections on July 16. Bunda filed for lieutenant governor on July 19, the day before the filing deadline.
But Bunda only notified the Senate in writing of his intent to resign — not his actual resignation — which has raised questions in the liberal blogosphere.
Howden, who unsuccessfully ran for Maui County Council two years ago, said he was told about the potential problem with Bunda’s resignation from a political associate whom he would not identify.
Howden said he was surprised that Bunda, a former Senate president, would not formally resign in writing before running for another office.
Richard Rapoza, a spokesman for Senate Democrats, said the Senate clerk has treated Bunda’s actions as a resignation.
“There’s more to resigning than just sending in a letter,” he said.
For example, he said, Bunda signed to cancel his health insurance. He filed retirement forms. He canceled his parking at the state Capitol. He returned his Capitol key cards and keys.
The Senate clerk, he said, informed the state Department of Accounting and General Services. Bunda received his last paycheck — for July 16 only — on Aug. 5.
His Senate staff has been transferred under the supervision of the Senate clerk and only handles constituent service for Senate District 22, which covers Wahiawa and the North Shore.