Gloves were off during first gubernatorial debate for leading Democratic candidates

The gloves quickly came off and the debate became heated several times.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 7:07 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 7:52 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The leading Democratic candidates for governor went on the attack during their first debate together, sparring over leadership, Red Hill, COVID, special interests and more.

Former First Lady and businesswoman Vicky Cayetano, Lt. Gov. Josh Green and Congressman Kai Kahele participated in the virtual debate on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight forum.

The three talked policy on issues like managing tourism and affordable housing, but they quickly got aggressive.

“For the lieutenant governor to talk about leading by example quite frankly is a joke,” said Kahele.

“I’m disappointed by that attack,” Green said, in response. “It’s disappointing to be a hard-working physician, lieutenant governor and to be referred to as a joke. That’s inappropriate.”

“You know what is the irony in this is, that the unions who support you they’ve actually done a smear job on me,” said Cayetano referring to Green.

All three agreed that they no longer support mandatory masking in public schools or vaccine mandates for all public workers.

Kahele also mentioned he would not support the stadium redevelopment in Halawa in favor of housing and did not support the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Cayetano said she supported TMT while Green was nuanced with his answer.

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