HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four additional members of the Honolulu City Council announced Tuesday that they were endorsing Honolulu businessman Keith Amemiya in the race for mayor.
City Council members Joey Manahan (Kalihi, Salt Lake), Brandon Elefante (Aiea, Pearl City, Waipahu) and Tommy Waters (East Honolulu) join Councilwoman Kym Marcos Pine (West Oahu) in pledging their support for Amemiya, who ― along with former television executive Rick Blangiardi ― advanced to November’s run-off election after finishing in the top two during the August primary.
Outgoing City Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson, who surprised observers last week by announcing he was resigning from the council effective Sept. 23, also endorsed Amemiya in the race.
“It is truly humbling to earn the support of these four outstanding public servants,” Amemiya said in a statement. "I feel the weight of responsibility from all of their constituents across our island. I promise to continue learning from them and earning their trust.
Council members like Manahan, who said his district had been ‘devastated’ by the coronavirus, cited Amemiya’s plan for handling the pandemic as one of the reasons he was endorsing the businessman.
“Our most vulnerable communities need special attention right now because this pandemic is reminding us that we are all connected,” Manahan said. “We need a compassionate leader like Keith who is approachable, listens to people, and who’ll act in our best interest.”
For the second time in as many weeks, the Amemiya campaign also appeared to accuse Blangiardi of favoring the 'strong-arm’ tactics sometimes attributed to President Donald Trump.
“If our opponent the CEO thinks he’s going to come into Honolulu Hale and whip the bureaucrats into shape, he has another thing coming to him,” said Ikaika Anderson. “Strong arm tactics sound good on television but they don’t work in reality.”
During a separate endorsement announcement last week, Amemiya ― who has campaigned publicly as a Democrat in the non-partisan race for mayor ― called Blangiardi ‘another top-down leader' with a ‘don’t worry, I’ll figure it out' attitude.
When asked last week to clarify whether those comments were about Blangiardi, who identifies as an Independent, or President Trump, Amemiya replied: “I was referring to both of them.”