Surrounded by dozens of supporters, North Shore Senator Clayton Hee announced his candidacy for Lt. Gov. on the Democratic ticket Sunday afternoon. This is the second time Hee has run for office, he did once before in 2002.
“I’ve always believed, when you get bucked off the second time, don’t let it be the same reason as the first time. But get up and get back in that saddle,” Lt. Gov. candidate Clayton Hee said.
He cited his recent work in the senate helping pass the minimum wage increase, marriage equality and working a preservation deal for land near Turtle Bay. But he said there are more things he could accomplish at the executive level.
“I hope that I can help and be a bridge to Hawaiian issues whether it’s department of Hawaiian Homelands, or with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. These issues do not rise high in the governor’s list of things to do. They will be high in the things for me to do,” Hee said.
His chief opponent will be incumbent Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui who said in an e-mail statement – “I look forward to a spirited campaign that will allow us to take our message to the voters.”
Over his decades of public service, Clayton Hee has sometimes been a lightning rod for controversy
We wanted to know if he had done any polls to find whether it’s possible for him to get elected.
“Ten years ago, I might have just done it just to do it. Ten years later, at my age, we want to be sure we know how deep the pool is before we jump in,” Hee said.
Former governor Ben Cayetano was there today to throw his support to Clayton Hee. Cayetano has also endorsed Governor Abercrombie’s primary opponent David Ige. But Cayetano said it won’t matter to Senator Hee who is elected governor.
“He brings everything to the table that you look for in a leader. He’s courageous, he’s principled, and I’ll support him no matter who emerges as the gubernatorial candidate,” former Governor Ben Cayetano said.
“I’m a democrat. Whichever democrat emerges as the gubernatorial candidate, that’s the horse that I ride. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. We’re not supposed to pick and choose,” Hee said.
Also on hand offering their support for Hee’s candidacy is Abigail Kawananakoa, and Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.
Current Governor Neil Abercrombie has said that he is supporting the re-election of Shan Tsutsui as Lt. Gov.