HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Government Employees Association and United Public Workers announced their endorsement of Kirk Caldwell for Honolulu on Tuesday.
"Based on his record of collaborative leadership and his knowledge and experience to make positive changes, we believe Mr. Caldwell is the best candidate for Honolulu mayor," said Jon Gasper, HGEA's State Political Action Committee Chair. "He truly cares about improving the City and is willing to work together with City employees and other groups to move Honolulu forward."
"With his experience in federal, state and county government, Mr. Caldwell brings a common-sense approach to addressing the important issues our city faces," added Angel Santiago-Cruz, a member of UPW's Political Action Committee and a third-generation City employee. "In addition, he strongly supports public employees and values the services we provide in our communities."
The Political Action Committees from HGEA and UPW are each composed of members from the respective organization.
The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association and SHOPO, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers have also endorsed Caldwell for Honolulu Mayor.
On Tuesday, Former Governor Ben Cayetano responded saying:
"I'm not surprised. HGEA and UPW union leaders know the state retirement and health fund systems are in a severe crisis -- but they fear any kind of reform. Kirk Caldwell is a nice man, but he's never had to make a tough decision during his entire political career. For the HGEA and UPW, Kirk is the perfect candidate."
As for painting me as a "single issue" candidate, these union leaders don't seem to understand how spending $5.3 - $7 billion on an obsolete transportation system will adversely affect the future of their members, their children and grandchildren.
Our polls show that the overwhelming majority of union members vote like the general public -- independent and unaffected by their union leadership."