HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of the state’s largest union organizations announced Monday that they were supporting Keith Amemiya in his bid to become Honolulu’s next mayor.
The Hawaii State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which represents 74 local unions and trade organizations, said that Amemiya was the candidate to listen more and work with others “to get things done for the people and for our future.”
“We are going to emerge from this COVID crisis better than we were before. We will do this, not because one person made all the decisions, but because of the efforts of the working families who will rebuild and diversify our economy,” Amemiya said. “I am so grateful to the members of the Hawaiʻi State AFL-CIO for joining our campaign.”
Amemiya is running against former television executive Rick Blangiardi in November’s primary election. The pair advanced to the run-off after claiming the top two spots in August’s primary.
During Monday’s endorsement announcement, both Amemiya and Randy Perreira compared Blangiardi to President Donald Trump, with Perreira calling Trump the “strong-arm boss in the White House.”
“Donald Trump has been disastrous for working-class families, including those here on Oahu, and the last thing we need is a top-down leader whose ‘don’t worry, I’ll figure it out’ attitude will pervade our city if he would become mayor,” said Amemiya, who has campaigned publicly as a Democrat despite the mayor’s race being non-partisan.
When asked to clarify whether those comments were about Blangiardi, who identifies as an Independent, or President Trump, a Republican, Amemiya replied: “I was referring to both of them.”
Blangiardi’s campaign was asked by Hawaii News Now for a response to those comparisons, but has not yet provided one.