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In race for governor, Green has raked in most campaign cash — and by a wide margin

"Money is always important in every race but it's particularly important in running during the pandemic because you can't go door to door.”
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 7:28 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lt. Gov. Josh Green has taken an early lead among all gubernatorial candidates in the all important money race.

Green raised more than $774,000 during the second half of 2021, giving him more than $1.1 million in cash on hand.

By contrast, former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell raised just $347,000, giving him $718,000 in his campaign’s bank accounts.

“Josh Green obviously has a big lead, a huge war chest,” said University of Hawaii Political Science Prof. Colin Moore.

“Kirk Caldwell’s was pretty disappointing for him as well. He’s always been known as a really strong fundraiser. And these results weren’t the sort he would need to run for governor.”

Moore said the arrests earlier this month of two of Caldwell’s former cabinet members — former Corporation Counsel Donna Leong and former Managing Director Roy Amemiya — may be slowing down his fundraising.

“It’s a huge detriment to Caldwell raising money. For the most part people who are big donors like to give money to candidates who can win,” Moore said.

But Caldwell’s campaign said the former mayor didn’t feel it was appropriate to hold a lot of fundraisers during the holidays and that his campaign is now gaining momentum.

Local business executive Vicky Cayetano’s campaign reported in $655,000 in its bank accounts. Cayetano received about $825,000 during last six months — but $350,000 of that was her own money loaned to the campaign.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul Morgan reported just $4,000 dollars in his campaign’s bank accounts.

Campaign contributions will likely play a huge role during this election due to the pandemic, Moore said.

With COVID still raging, it’s difficult for political candidates to campaign door-to-door and are forced to rely more on their political advertisements and social media to get their message out, he said.

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