The governor who issued 41 disaster declarations is ready to show you his lighter side

Top stories from across Hawaii and around the world, as seen on the 4 p.m. news broadcast from Hawaii News Now.
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 4:05 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2022 at 12:04 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - During the last week of his administration, Gov. David issued an emergency proclamation for the Mauna Loa eruption, allowing government to respond quickly if needed.

It was his 41st disaster declaration.

And that, he says, is more than any other Hawaii governor in history.

“I think clearly it’s more than any governor had to deal with and I’m proud of our record,” Ige said, during a recent interview.

We asked him to strum the chords he played with musician Jake Shimabukuro.

But those crises triggered more than a few tense moments for Ige during his eight years as governor.

During the false missile alert, for example, Ige made national headlines for saying one of the reasons the state took so long to issue an all clear is because he forgot his Twitter password.

“I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log on and the passwords,” said Ige, in 2018.

There was also criticism during the protests over the Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea.

But as he leaves the Governor’s Office, Ige wouldn’t name a low point in his administration.

“I’m always an optimist so I don’t have a lowest point. Obviously, we were working very hard to service the community,” said Ige.

He says he’s most proud of his COVID response.

“Hawaii was the only state in the country that had zero days where the hospitals didn’t have the staff to provide services,” said Ige.

Gov.-elect Josh Green will be sworn in next Monday at noon.

HNN asked Ige if there’s anything he’s looking forward to not having to deal with once he’s no longer governor.

“I don’t have anything,” said Ige.

“I’m proud of the community coming together during these emergencies and clearly we are leaving behind a better Hawaii today than the Hawaii that I walked into eight years ago,” he said.

Ige is 65 years old. He told Hawaii News Now he’s not thinking about running for office and he’s definitely not interested in Washington D.C., but he’ll be doing something.

Ige acknowledges it may be hard for him to show his personal side.

“People have asked to see the other side of Gov. Ige,” he said.

Part of that lighter side: A love for the ukulele. He even recently played with musician Jake Shimabukuro ― and he’s hoping to practice after leaving office.