HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa announced on Friday he will be running for lieutenant governor in the November 2018 election.
He made the official announcement on Hawaii News Now Sunrise, saying that his political experience will bring significant change at the state level that the public hasn't seen yet.
"I believe that the voters look at every department," he said. "They're going to see there's very little leadership with the state, specifically with the governor's office."
He cited the Honolulu rail project as a specific example of Gov. David Ige's lack of leadership.
"Look at the rail ... they came to an impasse," Arakawa said, adding that the governor should've stepped in to come up with a solution after the Legislature failed to come to an agreement with how to fund the project.
"You have to complete the rail whether you like it or not because you've already invested so much of the taxpayers' dollars into it," he said.
Arakawa said as mayor, he has worked with a variety of different state and county departments and has experience dealing with a vast range of issues such as fixing roads and figuring out how to handle invasive species and the rat lungworm disease.
Currently, Shan Tsutsui serves as lieutenant governor, but Arakawa said on Sunrise that Tsutsui told him he will not be running for lieutenant governor in 2018, but says it's his obligation to announce his upcoming plans.
He also said if Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho runs for governor, he could win.
Arakawa served as mayor from 2002 to 2006 and was re-elected in 2011 and 2014, making him the first Maui mayor to serve consecutive terms since Linda Lingle won re-election in 1994.