Political History was made today when two former governors came out in support of the democratic challenger for governor, Sen. David Ige.
The opening of David Ige’s campaign headquarters was packed. The crowd included two former democratic governors – George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano. This is the first time two former governors have endorsed a candidate in the primary election. A tough choice for Ben Cayetano – friends with Neil Abercrombie for decades.
“It wasn’t easy for me because we’ve been pals for a long time – good pals – sometimes only the two of us would stand up on an issue. But friendship can’t stand in the way of what’s in the best interest of the state.” Former Gov. Ben Cayetano said.
For his part, David Ige was diplomatic about the August primary election.
“I’m not running against the governor, I’m running to be governor of the state of Hawaii. And it really is about the future. I’m not satisfied that the right decisions are being made. I think we need to live within our means.” Gov. Candidate David Ige said.
Ige says that means living within the state’s financial means.
“You know, Governor Cayetano was chairman of the ways and means committee. I was chairman of the ways and means committee. David Ige is now chairman. The three of us understand what needs to be done and what we see happening is not very good.” Former Gov. George Ariyoshi said.
The wild card in the August primary could be Mufi Hannemann who is considering a third party candidacy. Would that affect the democratic primary?
“Mufi’s a very strategic thinker. Trouble is his ambition always gets ahead of him and so the last election, that was his election to win. And he lost it.” Cayetano said.
Ige already has the backing of the HSTA – the Hawaii teachers union, due in part to the no holds barred contract battle between Governor Abercrombie and the union.
“This is a true David against Goliath. He’s a little shorter than the real Goliath. Let’s say that the true David is going to have a grassroots campaign and it’s going to be an effective one, I feel.” HSTA Wil Okabe said.
Governor Abercrombie had no comment on the opening of Ige’s campaign – which Ige acknowledges will be a tough one.
“It’s a marathon. We’re at the five mile mark. There is a lot more to be done.” Ige said.