Governor Lingle reflects on the life of Mayor Baptiste

Governor Linda Lingle
Governor Linda Lingle
Mayor Bryan Baptiste
Mayor Bryan Baptiste
Sen. Gary Hooser
Sen. Gary Hooser

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Baptiste was on the road to recovery, he had been discharged from the hospital and was here on Oahu.

The day before his death, the mayor was doing something many of us do on a Saturday, watching sports while spending time with a friend. It turns out that friend is also the governor of Hawaii.

Politics brought them together, but dealing with disasters and difficulties forged their friendship.

"We trusted each other a lot, difficult times Kaloko Dam brought us even closer," said Governor Linda Lingle.

In fact, the mayor and his wife were staying with the governor before and after his heart surgery.

"They stayed with me after they got discharged from the hospital and I took him to the airport, he was doing great."

The two share a love of sports, and after the success of last season's Warrior team, Mayor Baptiste was excited about Hawaii football in the fall.

"He was saying 'yeah, I better let the stadium know I will be coming to the games', so he was looking forward to the future," Lingle said.

Future plans are even the reason the mayor went in for the operation this month.

"The whole willingness to undergo the surgery was based on the doc promising him he would be able to go to Portugal in three weeks, he thought he would make that trip," said Lingle.

Bryan Baptiste dies at the age of 52, leaving behind a legacy of island politics and even more important, a lot of friends.

"He was a true friend and it's hard to even think he's gone," said Lingle.