Clayton Hee's sudden withdrawal from the Governor's race was a concession that he had run into too much headwind and didn't have enough support to be viable.
His leaving is good for voters because now they have clearer choice with just two major candidates left in the Democratic primary. The outcome won't be clouded by "what if" scenarios Hee would have created if he got a large share of votes.
Nonetheless, the fact that decades' old domestic abuse allegations were brought up against Hee is a signal that this will be a hard fought race. And we can expect aggressive tactics.
Let's just hope that the candidates themselves can keep their campaigns on the high road as much as possible. Negative campaigns can turn people off and in Hawaii, we can't afford for voters to get any more apathetic than they already are.
That would be a shame in a year where we could have an exciting election.
In addition to a highly competitive governor's race, there are crowded fields for Lieutenant Governor and the first congressional race. Kauai and Maui will choose new mayors. And a number of well known newcomers are challenging incumbent trustees at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Hawaii News Now will provide coverage of these campaigns on all our shows and platforms. Our website and social media will also help viewers get information they need and opportunities to share opinions.
With the filing deadline this week – the race is on. Let's all be part of it.