The Exchange Club of Downtown Honolulu hosted the State’s chief executive today during one of their monthly luncheons. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.
Governor David Ige was invited by the Exchange Club of Downtown Honolulu to report on the state of the state. He says Hawai’i is ranked as the healthiest and most livable state in the nation; has low unemployment; has created 14-thousand jobs; and is currently in the 6th consecutive year of record visitor arrivals and spending.
“Hawaiian Airlines is flying between Narita and Kona 3 times a week. In the first 6 months of this year, arrivals are up on the Big Island by almost 10 percent and, most importantly, visitor spending on the Big Island is up $500 million. And, Japan Airlines will be coming in with daily service to Kona in a week or so.”
The governor says tourism will likely continue to set records next year. He then talked about his administration’s accomplishments in returning public schools to the community; building 6 thousand affordable rental units; and providing permanent housing for the homeless. He was asked by luncheon attendees about his solutions for creating high paying jobs for Hawai’i’s youth and, finally, how he’s different from Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, who intends to challenge him in his bid for re-election.
“If you vote for me you are voting for a proven administrator and executive who understands the challenges of running the State of Hawai’i. And I kept the promises that I made to you three-and-a-half years ago in a real way.”
Chalsa Loo from the Waikiki and Ala Moana area asked the governor that question.
“Governor Ige spoke to one big difference between he and Hanabusa and that was his experience as governor. He’s saying, if you vote for me, you’re voting for what I’ve accomplished thus far for the state.”
But, Bob Pafsi of Kailua, says he has no preference for Ige or Hanabusa.
“I would be neutral on that. I think they both come from the same side of the aisle. I think we need somebody from the other side of the aisle. I’ve lived here for 55 years and I’ve only voted for one person who ever actually won and that was Linda Lingle.”
But, Judy Slawsky, who lives on Roundtop and works downtown, says the governor will get her vote.
“He seems to answer every question that was posed of him even though some of them were confrontational, he didn’t back down. And he approaches the state with business instead of a career politician. I like that about him.”
Candidates seeking elected office in Hawai’i can begin filing on February 1st. The Primary Election is August 11th, less than one year away. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.