Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano announces run for governor

She is establishing herself as a deep-rooted Democrat with ideas and drive of her own, independent of how her husband held the office.
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 11:39 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:40 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano has announced she’s running for governor, saying she believes her experience in business prepares her for the job.

Cayetano has never held public office and is entering what’s expected to be a crowded field of gubernatorial candidates.

In a news conference Monday morning outside the state Capitol building, Cayetano struck an optimistic tone but also said the next governor will tackle grave challenges.

“Hawaii is at the most critical juncture it has ever faced,” she said.

She added, “There is no problem too great that we can’t overcome it together.”

Cayetano is running as a Democrat. She switched to the party 25 years ago, after previously being a Republican. She said the Republican party does not represent her values.

Cayetano is married to Gov. Ben Cayetano, who served from 1994 to 2002.

And she bristles at those who suggest she will be a stand-in for her husband.

“I appreciate his wisdom and guidance but I am running as my own person,” she said.

Although the commercial laundry executive is considered a long-shot, Cayetano allies point out that she is very different from her likely opponents ― Lt. Gov. Josh Green and former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell ― and could be the only well-known woman in the race.

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