HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was a heated exchange, when the 3 leading candidates for Honolulu mayor faced off in a debate hosted by Hawaii News Now. Political analyst Colin Moore appeared on Sunrise to talk about the performance of Mayor Kirk Caldwell, former mayor Peter Carlisle and former congressman Charles Djou. He believes that Mayor Caldwell won overall, which is not easy to do as the incumbent. Moore said that the mayor stayed calm and on issue.
When it came to the issue of rail, former mayor Carlisle criticized Caldwell for the way he has been handling the project thus far. Djou, who has been a staunch opponent to rail, said that we cannot continue to write blank checks for the multi-billion dollar project. However, Moore pointed out that Djou also failed to outline what his plans would be in order to complete the rail project with the current funds. In the past, Djou has suggested that the rail move down to the street level or even be exchanged for buses in order to save money. Both proposals have been mocked by Caldwell and Carlisle.
As for the issue of whether the Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha should step down as he faces a federal investigation, the three candidates all had different ideas. Moore said this was Carlisle's strongest answer. The former prosecutor argued that it was shameful that the leader of the police force was in the middle of a federal investigation. He believes that the chief should be relieved of his duties without pay, at least temporarily. Djou said that as the leader, Kealoha is held to a higher standard. He, too believes a temporary suspension should be in order. Caldwell defended his own actions, saying that the chief should not be tried in the court of pubic opinion. Instead, the mayor said that once the federal probe is finished, then the police commission will have the decision on whether to take action.