HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mufi Hannemann said it will be a daunting challenge to win the governor's race as an Independent candidate, but he can do it.
"People want the best. They deserve the best. And that's what I intend to deliver," he said in announcing his candidacy on Sunrise.
Political journalist Richard Borreca said he'll have to attract voters from both major parties and the undecided voter.
"The ability for him to attract both Republicans and Democrats in the General Election is true. That's a good point to his favor. He can actually do that quite well," he said.
Borreca said Hannemann can take advantage of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's unfavorable public approval rating.
"I'm in the middle," Hannemann said. "I'm where most people are. Every survey has shown most people consider themselves independent."
"Mufi will have to explain to voters why exactly they should support an Independent when they have two very viable mainstream party candidates," UH political science professor Colin Moore said.
Hannemann touts his executive experience and his time as mayor of Honolulu.
But Borreca said he will have to build a base.
"He's been out of City Hall for four years. So he doesn't have that built-in network that you had when you were the mayor and you had all the City Hall workers behind you," he said.
Hannemann lost his past two Democratic primary races. But he's quick to say he won his last two general elections.
UH political science professor Colin Moore said Hannemann has a strong resume.
"The extent to which he's lost a few elections doesn't help him, but the fact that he has so much name recognition does," he said.
"I want to reassure voters that what you see is what you get in terms of someone who's always been sincere about listening," Hannemann said.
Borreca said it's possible for Hannemann to win as an Independent candidate. Moore said his chances are slim.
Hannemann believes he can beat the odds as the man in the middle.