Abercrombie, Hannemann, push their platforms at a Waikiki forum - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Abercrombie, Hannemann, push their platforms at a Waikiki forum

Forum hosted by the Waikiki Neighborhood Board Forum hosted by the Waikiki Neighborhood Board
Mufi Hannemann Mufi Hannemann
John Carroll John Carroll

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Democratic rivals Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann laid out their platforms for economic development and tourism at a forum sponsored by the Waikiki Neighborhood Board.

They were among seven candidates who attended the event at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

The event's format prevented the two from sparring directly, with all seven candidates being given 90 seconds of time to answer four questions.

Hannemann touted his experience, calling himself "someone who's worked in the private sector, someone who has managed the 12th largest city in the United States" as Honolulu mayor.

Abercrombie kept to a message of offering change to voters.

"You want jobs? Then we gotta have self-sufficiency in energy," Abercrombie told the crowd. "We got to grow our own food. We got to see to it that we've got environmental sustainability, and that we've got an education system second to none.

Hannemann drew cheers from supporters when he touted rail as a way to improve the experience for tourists.

"It will take us to Ala Moana Center, and then we'll do a circulator system to Waikiki so that the visitors can escape what they're seeing now, the deplorable scenery coming in on the state-owned Nimitz Highway," Hannemann said.

Abercrombie appeared to indirectly criticize Hannemann's platform for economic development.

"It seems to me, it seems very clear, that you can't just have a series of projects out there and call it an economic plan," Abercrombie said.

Republican John Carroll had a good-natured, but still pointed barb for Abercrombie. He took Abercrombie's pitch as the candidate of change, and made it his own.

"I'd like to thank Neil for introducing me, because I am that governor," Caroll said, to laughter from Abercrombie and the crowd.

But then he chided the former congressman.

"Everything that Neil said is correct," said Carroll, "it's just that he's been in office for 35 years and he's really had a lot of opportunity here to do those things."

Carroll's GOP opponent, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, did not attend the forum. A total of 11 candidates have filed to run for governor.

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