The 2018 Primary Election is a year away and Democrats are either sending feelers out or lining up to be counted. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka takes this first look at the top two state-wide races.
Governor David Ige, who is planning to run for re-election in 2018, will be hard to beat. That, according to political analyst Dan Boylan.
“David Ige, it seems to me, has not done anything to truly anger people. He has simply been quiet. And the power of the incumbency, that means a lot of people who work for the government, a lot of money that’s available to you. All of that puts David Ige in the catbird seat no matter what a public opinion poll shows at this moment.”
“I’m always contemplating how to best serve the people of Hawai’i.”
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa has not decided if she’ll run for Governor. She says she will make that decision before the end of August but it will depend on where Hawai’i voters want her to serve.
“Public trust. I know what it is in my gut after sitting on the HART Board and chairing it. If there’s anything I can tell people that I have become sensitive to and what have I learned, it’s to listen, to hear and to understand. Some people actually feel that I’m the one who can implement. And I can figure out how to solve things. And I take tough stands.”
Political analyst Boylan doesn’t believe Congresswoman Hanabusa will run for Governor. Meanwhile, State Senator Jill Tokuda announced her candidacy for Lieutenant Governor and says it’s her time to step up and provide the leadership needed in the executive branch.
“You know, every day in our communities, people are struggling. And it’s in stark contrast to much of the economic indicators that we see. Tourism is booming, we’ve got cranes in the sky but families are having a hard time making ends meet. And we feel it and they want a sense of urgency from the executive branch that they’re gonna get help.”
Tokuda says she is organizing her statewide campaign and renewing old Democratic Party friendships. Again, Political Analyst Boylan.
“Jill Tokuda’s got a good shot. I think women are very likely to support a female candidate and we well know that 4 years later she might be governor because that’s the route to the governship. So watch the guys who maybe talking governorship now andend up running for lieutenant governor. And a neighbor island candidate might have a better shot there.”
And that could be what Kaua’i Mayor, Bernard Carvalho, is contemplating. He’s term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
“I am seeking a higher office. I’m ready. I’ve been in government almost 33 years. My term as mayor ends next November, ten years. So I look forward to seeking higher office. I’m not ready to say anything right now but believe me I will be making an announcement very shortly on what I wanna do but I want to finish Kaua’i first.”
Political Analyst Boylan says the Governor and Lieutenant Governor races are getting interesting but says it’s far from being over, especially if you consider the state Attorney General.
“I’m very interested in Doug Chin, whom I think refuses to speak about whether he would run for governor or for lieutenant governor. But I have a feeling that he might. He is the star in many ways of this administration and I think he’s certainly somebody who has to have some opinions about what will happen after his boss leaves. And the lieutenant governorship, again, is the route to the top.”
The traditional announcement timeline for state-wide elected office is shortly after the Labor Day weekend. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.