Hannemann picks up key endorsement, makes announcement plans

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's not "official" yet, but Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said Friday he'll make an official announcement to run for governor sometime next month.

Hannemann picked up another huge endorsement this time, from the police officers' union.

Even though it's not official, Hannemann is still collecting endorsements. Political pundits say the police union's endorsement is crucial, but not a surprising one.

They say he should get most of the good blessings from unions working with the city.

"We want to officially announce SHOPO's endorsement of Mayor Mufi Hannemann in his bid for governorship," SHOPO president Tenari Maafala said.

The police union says since Hannemann became mayor in 2005, he's been up front and honest with them.

"He always had an open door policy and the mayor recognizing that as a union, we're definitely a stakeholder of the well-being of our officers and indirectly by taking care of our officers, they're a lot more effective in serving our community," Maafala said.

Police say -- honolulu has become a safer city.

And when SHOPO lost confidence in former chief Boisse Correa towards the end of his term last year, the union says Hannemann handled the situation well.

"Their leadership is one that I've always welcomed and I look forward to continuing this close relationship in collaboration as the next governor of the State of Hawaii," Hannemann said.

Hawaii News Now political analyst Dan Boylan says Hannemann may pick up more endorsements involving the city in the coming months.

"They obviously think he's done a good job for them, that counts with voters when they know that as a mayor, he's been able to deal with an important union, one of the most important unions that the mayor has to deal with," he said.

The news of the endorsement comes as a surprise to the other gubernatorial candidates, especially Duke Aiona.

He's worked in public safety for many years as a judge and a prosecutor.

"I worked with them hand in hand in regards to prosecuting cases, then I became a city attorney, defended them on civil cases, when their jobs were on the line, when their lives were on the line, I defended them," Aiona said.

SHOPO leaders say Hannemann and Aiona approached them, but they didn't hear from Neil Abercrombie.

But Abercrombie's spokeswoman says they were never given the opportunity to meet with SHOPO.

Regardless, Abercrombie's campaign says the people of Hawaii have made it clear that they want a leader who'll get beyond politics as usual.

Looking at other endorsements, the ILWU and Iron Workers are also behind Hannemann.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Association of Social Workers support Abercrombie.

SHOPO endorsed the Lingle administration in the last governor's race.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.