Mayoral candidates need name recognition help - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mayoral candidates need name recognition help

Vance Higa Vance Higa
Mele Hoapili Mele Hoapili
Karim Khan Karim Khan
Dan Boylan Dan Boylan

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One week into the campaign season and while no one can officially file to run for mayor of Honolulu, five candidates are eager to take the job. Kirk Caldwell, Peter Carlisle, Donovan Dela Cruz, Panos Prevedouros and Rod Tam have announced they will run for mayor. Some are raising money and running advertisements hoping to get into the minds of voters and judging from a random sampling of voters today, people didn't know much about any of the candidates.

"I'm going to ask you a series of names you tell me if you know who they are and what they do. The first name is Kirk Caldwell?" I asked. "I don't know who that is," responded Vance Higa, from Waipio.

"Do you know who Kirk Caldwell is?" "No," responded Mele Hoapili, of Aiea. "Peter Carlisle?" "Yes. He's an elderly Caucasian gentleman." "Do you know what he does?" "Not a clue."

"Kirk Caldwell?" "The real estate person, Caldwell Real Estate. I really don't know anything beyond that," responded Karim Khan, Pearl City.

Of the five potential Honolulu mayoral candidates Peter Carlisle and Panos Prevedouros appear to be the most known.

"Panos Prevedouros?" "Oh yes, the nemesis of Mufi Hannemann. A professor at UH and now trying to be the mayor," responded Karim Khan.

"Peter Carlisle?" "Peter Carlisle, that's the city prosecutor, state prosecutor," said Vance Higa.

"If you're not known name recognition is the very first thing you have to do in politics. The very first thing," said Dan Boylan, Hawaii News Now Political Analyst.

It's a tough position because technically current Mayor Mufi Hannemann hasn't stepped down to run for Governor even though there are indications he will. He's held 13 fundraisers the first of which was held last June and on each fundraising form it says office sought: governor and signed by candidate Mufi Hannemann.

"This is as good an indication as anything," said Boylan.

Kirk Caldwell has started running TV ads trying to get his name out there but he doesn't say what he's running for in either commercial he produced. Even though he's Hannemann's managing director and right hand man he denies knowing any inside information.

"I'm not sure there's anything unusual in politics and it's not surprising he's running ads now if he seriously wants to be mayor," said Boylan about Caldwell.

Other candidates are also advertising and not hiding that they're running for mayor although at the moment it doesn't appear not helping people remember their name.

"Do you know who Donovan Dela Cruz is?" "Never heard of him," responded Leeann Yee of Pearl City.

"Rod Tam?" "Nope," responded Sheena Estrada of Kunia.

Professor Boylan says if candidates wait until July to start getting their name out there it will be too late.

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