Businessman’s potential gubernatorial run could shake up general election race

Party leaders say it could make for a rare competitive general election.
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:37 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 at 10:55 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As Democrats continue to dominate in Hawaii, a well-known local businessman is considering running for governor as a Republican.

Party insiders are hoping the bid results in a rare competitive general election race in the islands — rather than a shoo-in for the Democratic candidate.

Successful developer 75-year-old Peter Savio says Hawaii has been saddled with the same problems for years and believes he’s got out of the box solutions.

“I’m not a politician. I never have been,” said Savio.

“I like Trump. I think he’s a jerk, but he’s different. He shakes things up,” he added.

He says GOP leaders have asked him to run, so he’s mulling it over.

“I’m hoping they can find someone else and I can give them ideas and solutions that I believe would help to make Hawaii a better place,” said Savio.

A year after the deadly attack on the Capitol, Savio says what the insurrectionists did was wrong.

“No question they should be punished for it, but I’m still not convinced what happened and who is to blame,” he said.

Hawaii’s Republican party has struggled for years to attract qualified candidates, but Chair Lynn Finnegan insists the Hawaii GOP is focused on local issues not national politics.

“I know there are a lot of people who feel their government doesn’t represent us well and it’s an opportunity for Republicans to say this is what we would do here in Hawaii to make your lives better,” said Finnegan.

Finnegan says she’s has spoken with Savio along with Paul Morgan, a business consultant from the Big Island who has a website in which he says he’s running for governor.

On his website, Morgan says he’s running on “leadership, truthworthiness and being decisive.”

Finnegan says she hasn’t talked to UFC champ BJ Penn, who announced on social media his intention to run in October.

“I’m gonna give everybody their freedoms back. Enough is enough already,” said Penn, on his social media account.

“Someone like Peter Savio, Paul Morgan or BJ Penn bring all sorts of flavors to a Republican gubernatorial ticket,” said Finnegan.

Neither Penn nor Morgan responded to Hawaii News Now’s requests to talk with them. The filing deadline for the candidates is June.

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