Heating Up: Hanabusa vs Ige in Governor's Race

Jan 8, 2018

Governor David Ige is being challened in his re-election bid by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i’s Senior Congressional Representative officially announced her candidacy for Governor today.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is running for Governor because she says the current administration lacks leadership and direction…

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa officially announced her candidacy for governor today.
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

"What people are saying when they say he’s not a leader, it’s a manifestation of a real problem.  That they don’t feel that the issues that Hawai’i is facing are actually being addressed.  But more than that, he’s not giving them that sense of confidence.  And, you know, those of us who are in elected office, public confidence, is the barometer by which we have to operate by.”

But, Governor David Ige, says talk is cheap and his administration is all about action.

“Airport modernization was adopted in 2007 and sat.  We have invested more than a billion dollars, already.  The biggest public works project on Maui, the car rental facility is up and running.  We took Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, which was stalled for six years and got it moving.  This administration has been about doing things.”

The congresswoman says big issues like the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea required executive direction.

“Something that is significant as TMT should have been something that was on the front burner.  The university did not do a good job.  And because of that, the only other entity that I believe can step in and make things right would have been the governor’s office.”

Governor David Ige says he is a proven leader who is focused on doing instead of talking.
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

But, the governor says, it was the Supreme Court’s decision to conduct a contested case hearing on TMT.  He says his administration is focused on fiscal management, infrastructure and ending pay to play contracts.

“We have been very focused on really ensuring that we end the pay to play.  You know, we’ve even cancelled contracts because contractors weren’t able to deliver the services that they were contracted to do and took them to court.”

One thing the two Democratic gubernatorial candidates agree on is that the race will be decided during the Primary Election ending August 11th.

“Yes I do believe it will be settled in the primary.  And that’s not to in any way take anything away from the Republicans who may be running.”

“The primary election is what we’re focused on and we’ve assembled a fantastic team of people to deliver the votes that we need to be successful.”

In my next report, the candidates focus on the neighbor islands.  Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.