Honolulu prosecutor wants city's top job - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honolulu prosecutor wants city's top job

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle
City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle
City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell
City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell
Gerald Kato Gerald Kato

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - As Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann considers a run for governor, others are expressing interest in his job. On Wednesday, City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle announced his intention to run for mayor, when Hannemann leaves the post.

No one knows for sure when the city's top job will open up -- 2010 or 2012. If Hannemann throws his hat into the gubernatorial ring next year, he'll have to resign as mayor.

With Honolulu's crime rate down, City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle says he's ready to run for mayor, whether it's in 2010 or 2012.

"The time has come," he said. "I mean, basically, since the office has good people right now and it's running well, it's time for me to let the next generation step over."

Carlisle is in his 13th year as Honolulu's chief prosecutor, an elected position, and is known for arguing many high-profile criminal cases himself. He says he has proven executive experience, as well as other qualities that a mayor should have.

"It might be a good idea that that person has no strings attached," he said. "And it would also be very important that all decisions be made completely on a non-partisan base whatsoever without any consideration to seeking another office."

Another possible mayoral candidate is former State Representative and current City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell.

"I would seriously consider it," Caldwell said. "I believe that the training I'm getting now would suit me very well to step into the job as mayor."

But he says he's also happy staying on as managing director if Mayor Mufi Hannemann decides to serve out his four-year term.

"I'm learning how to manage the city on a day-to-day basis on a diverse number of issues whether it be transportation, infrastructure issues, parks, wastewater, Waimanalo Landfill, I mean, so many different areas," Caldwell said.

University of Hawaii Journalism Professor Gerald Kato often serves as moderator during political debates. He says it's an exciting time as the field of potential candidates grows.

"They all have something to offer," Kato said. "Which candidate has the best combination of things to run this city, well, that's for the voters to decide."

Carlisle would have to resign as prosecutor if he makes a run for mayor next year. He was re-elected to a four-year term last year.

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