Primary preview: Lieutenant governor

The Democratic race for lieutenant governor includes two front runners, current LG Shan Tsutsui and longtime legislator Clayton Hee.

Politically speaking, the lieutenant governor’s job in recent years has been somewhat limited. State Sen. Clayton Hee would like to change that.

“I’m running for lieutenant governor because I believe I can use my talent that I have exercised in the Senate at the executive level.”

Hee believes the lieutenant governor could take over some issues the governor may not have time for.

” I would try to be a catalyst for issues that he may not necessarily have the time or priorities to deal with,” Hee said. Those topics include invasive species, Native Hawaiian issues, the homeless and sustainability.

“Hawaii cannot continue down this road of importing 90 percent of what we eat. We’ve become (dependent on) companies like Matson, U.S. Lines, and when there’s a labor issue, the people of Hawaii will suffer for it.”

Incumbent Shan Tsutsui says the same issues that are important to voters will continue to be important during this last week of the campaign.

“Whether it’s homeless issues, the economy, education, things we can do to protect our seniors,” Tsutsui said, “we’ll just continue to do that, and the emphasis this last week will be to get to as many of the neighbor islands as possible.”

Tsutsui says whoever becomes lieutenant governor must be able to work with the incoming governor. “That individual has to be able to work collaboratively with the governor.

“You know, when you look at the issues, (Hee and I) probably agree 90 percent of the time on the issues. But I think one real big difference between my opponent and myself is our style, in terms of how we approach problems.”

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