Duke Aiona officially enters Hawaii governor race

Duke Aiona officially enters Hawaii governor race

Duke Aiona's supporters waved signs on Beretania Street fronting the state Capitol, then cheered as they listened to him lay out his campaign platform.

"I will not give the people of Hawaii false hope. And we certainly will listen and give them consideration as to their ideas, concerns and their principles," he said.

"I think they're going to sense this -- they're going to sense that in Duke there is hope," Hawaii Republican Party chairperson Pat Saiki said.

Aiona adds his name to the list of challengers vying to unseat Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie. He said if elected he'll work to create affordable housing and jobs, hold down taxes and tackle the homeless problem.

"I believe that if we put more emphasis up front, in regards to prevention and intervention, it will make a significant impact in regards to what we're dealing with now," he said.

Political analyst Colin Moore said to win, Aiona must expand his support base.

"He needs to get all the Republicans out. But he also needs to get those moderates, Democrats who might be registered Democrats critical of the governor," he said.

As lieutenant governor, Aiona was against civil unions. He said same-sex marriage is now law, but he plans to argue his belief that law makers snubbed the people.

"In the special session, the legislators, the governor, they showed no respect to the people of Hawaii in regards to the process that was implemented for that law," he said.

Aiona lost his bid for governor four years ago. The next five months will be a window to re-introduce himself.

"So that they can know who Duke Aiona really is and not learn it from a sound bite, not learn it from a commercial, not learn it from hearsay, but learn it from me," he said.

Aiona called the governor's race a sprint. With the filing of his nomination papers and his public announcement, he is officially off and running.

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