Is MMA star BJ Penn running for something? It sure looks like it

His campaign manager isn't ruling out another run for politics.
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 5:19 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2023 at 12:18 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - BJ Penn’s campaign manager is leaving open the possibility of another run for politics.

Even though the MMA star didn’t win in last year’s primary election, Penn had some of the most memorable moments during his GOP campaign for governor.

“When this goes on and I become governor, I would love to say hey Uncle I need some advice. Eh Heidi you’re with me. You are coming with me,” said Penn, in Hawaii News Now’s Super Debate.

Now he and his campaign are continuing to advocate for community causes.

On his Instagram account, he’s asking people to support the family of murdered North Shore mother, Telma Boinville, by showing up at the defendants trial. Her husband and daughter testified Friday.

“When we had seen the video pop up on our feed and the tears from the father really broke my heart,” said Keikilani Ho, manager of the BJ Penn for Governor campaign. “It broke our whole teams heart and we just felt it was very necessary to put this out there and garner the support from the community,”

Political consultant Trisha Kehau Watson thinks Penn will run for office again. “I think he will. The next gubernatorial race is four years. That’s a long time, but Hawaii island mayor is in two years,” said Watson.

“I think what we are seeing is him expressing a lot of support for victims of violent crimes. It certainly is something that is going to resonate with the community,” she added.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs again,” added Colin Moore, HNN political analyst. “He’s one of the most notable Republicans in the state. He certainly has an enormous social media following.”

Hawaii News Now asked Penn’s campaign if he plans to run for governor or any other political office in the future. “We’ll see. If the need is there, of course. That’s why he ran in the first place,” said Ho.

Penn did have a representative in the courtroom gallery Friday.

He’s currently on the Big Island working on opening his new UFC gym.