With Hawaii’s primary election less than a year away, some big names begin to campaign

Updated: Aug. 16, 2019 at 11:02 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With Hawaii’s next primary election less than a year away and the governor’s office up for grabs in 2022, well-known politicians are thinking about future campaigns.

Among the big names eyeing runs: Former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is getting back in the ring. After losing the governor’s race last year, she’s exploring a run for mayor.

But another woman is also getting an early start on her campaign for Honolulu Hale.

"I'm just so excited of the work we've done so far, there's just so much more that needs to be done and I can only do it from the Mayor's position," said Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine.

A Pine or Hanabusa win would give Honolulu just its second female mayor after Eileen Anderson, and the first in 35 years.

Hanabusa refused to do an interview with Hawaii News Now on Thursday, but released a statement criticizing the rail authority over recent federal subpoenas, even though she was once the board chair.

It said in part:

“…it’s very sad to see this type of mismanagement and corruption at the highest levels of government in Hawaii. The public has lost trust in the city. There are people in positions of power that don’t seem to care about the well being of our children’s future and the quality of life of the residents of Honolulu. The Rail and Homelessness are out of control and I cannot sit by and do nothing as I watch the Hawaii I love, and our people, lose all trust and hope. I know in my heart that we can turn this around with hard work and leadership…”

“I have the highest respect for Colleen Hanabusa. She is my elder,” Pine said. “I’m just so saddened however, when we supported her and replaced her on the HART board, we were hoping she could fix all these problems and then she left so abruptly and ran for Congress and then left so abruptly from Congress to come back here.”

Pine’s decision to run for mayor will leave her District 1 council seat up for grabs.

Local comedian Augie T, whose real name is Augusto Tulba, filed an organizational report to take the first step in setting up a campaign to replace Pine.

A spokesman said he is planning an announcement for Labor Day weekend.

Then there’s the governor’s race for 2022.

This week, Lt. Gov. Josh Green held a fundraiser in San Francisco. as he explores a run to replace Ige.

“The truth is, I will prepare month by month, year by year, if the governorship is right for my family and really if I'm right for the people,” said Green. “I've always been a person that gets prepared for any possibility.”

If Green runs and wins the primary, he could face Republican Andria Tupola.

After losing by more than 100,000 votes last year, the former House Minority Leader says she's all in for round two.

“I really want my campaign to feel and look different so that people know that I really took to heart what I learned last year and what I’m going to better so I can better prepare to be the governor of Hawaii,” said Tupola.

Other potential candidates being talked about for the governor's race are State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and former state senator Jill Tokuda.

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