By Monica Parise
The race for Honolulu mayor is heating up with candidates Ben Cayetano and Kirk Caldwell facing off in November. While political analysts say simply adding outgoing mayor Peter Carlisle's primary numbers to Kirk Caldwell's- both pro-rail candidates, does not guarantee a Caldwell victory over Cayetano in November.
Caldwell has two numbers in mind. He's hoping his 29-percent plus fellow pro-rail candidate, Carlisle's 25-percent, which equals fifty-four percent, will help beat Cayetano's 45-percent in November.
"This is an uphill battle. With Cayetano's thirty-eight years in public office as two- term Lt. Governor and two-term Governor, I'm someone who ran all of six years in elected office," said Caldwell.
However, Hawaii Pacific University Communication Chair, John Hart, says Caldwell's six years in office hardly makes him a political "outsider." He also says the November race will be a whole new ball game.
"You have Republicans who probably stayed away because they did not see a competitive race they wanted. They will be voting in the fall. You have Democrats whose primary interest is to vote for Barack Obama. They sat out the primary, they will be voting in the fall- two very big demographics. Who do they vote for?" asked Professor Hart.
Cayetano agrees that those voters are crucial to winning the mayor's race: "There's a whole bunch of new votes- basically Republican, Independent, people who didn't feel they had much of a stake in primary election. We have a better chance to get those votes than Kirk," he said.
Professor Hart said, "For the people who are voting for reasons other than rail- that final percentage...who do they choose? Those are the people who will actually decide the election in the fall."