‘We need leaders we can trust’: Green makes his run for governor official

While he’s ahead in fundraising, there are plenty of contenders who say he’s not a shoe-in.
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 6:34 AM HST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 6:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lt. Gov. Josh Green has officially announced his run for governor, making the announcement in an interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise on Thursday.

“I’m running because we need leaders we can trust and who care about people,” he said.

Green, a Democrat, has served as lieutenant governor since 2018 and emerged as a leading voice throughout the coronavirus pandemic given his medical background as an emergency room physician.

“It has really been an extraordinary time from the small sacrifices of wearing masks to getting vaccinated, you’ve been extraordinary,” he said, thanking the people of Hawaii in his announcement. “People going back to work, we’ll never forget it.”

Previously, Green served in both the state House and Senate.

He’s also an ER doctor in rural areas of Hawaii Island.

He said federal funding for Hawaii’s COVID response would run out in March and April. That’s when he expects Safe Travels to end with the indoor mask mandate easing after that.

“Basically when we get 100 people in the hospital on average per day. We were at 191 yesterday. I believe then we are in a safe zone,” he said.

Green joins former First Lady and businesswoman Vicky Cayetano on the Democratic side in the race for governor. Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell is also a likely contender.

U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele also told Hawaii News Now he wouldn’t rule out a run for governor.

Republican Party of Hawaii Chair Lynn Finnegan says Green does have weaknesses.

“The things that he’s saying these things are going to come back to haunt him,” said Finnegan.

“I’ve seen Josh Green waver on quite a few things even with COVID,” she added.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Big Island business consultant Paul Morgan and Hawaii veteran and US Indo-Pacific Command program manager Lynn Mariano have announced their candidacies.

The head of the Aloha Freedom Coalition, Gary Cordero, announced he’s running. His group organized those anti-vaccine rallies outside Green’s downtown apartment.

Other possible candidates for the GOP include developer Peter Savio, UFC legend BJ Penn.

As Hawaii News Now reported earlier this month, Green has taken an early lead among all gubernatorial candidates in the money race, raising more than $774,000 during the second half of 2021, giving him more than $1.1 million in cash on hand.

The primary election will be held Aug. 13.

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