HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just days after a successful showing in Hawaii’s primary election, mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya is getting a big boost as his attention turns toward November’s run-off against former television executive Rick Blangiardi.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D) announced Wednesday that he was endorsing Amemiya in the non-partisan race, saying the Honolulu businessman “has shown that he has what it takes not only to win, but to govern effectively.”
“We need a leader who doesn’t add to the chaos and uncertainty, but rather one who listens, builds consensus, and moves the community forward together,” Sen. Schatz said.
Amemiya, who finished second to Blangiardi in Saturday’s primary, has a long-standing relationship with Schatz, having previously served as treasurer for the senator’s re-election campaign.
“As we did throughout the Primary Election, our community-powered campaign will continue to work hard for every single vote,” said Adam Wong, Amemiya’s campaign chairperson. “Today, we received great news of Sen. Schatz’s endorsement and it demonstrates that Keith can work with all levels of government to help lead Honolulu’s health and economic recovery.”
Both Honolulu mayoral candidates are political newcomers, as neither has held elected office. In a statement on Wednesday, Blangiardi congratulated Amemiya on the endorsement but reiterated that the mayor’s race is non-partisan.
“The people of Oahu amended the City Charter nearly 30 years ago to make all elected city offices non-partisan,” said Blangiardi. “They knew there is nothing political about fixing the roads, picking up the trash, or, in our current situation, making sure people are safe and the economy is reopened.”