Former Governor considers run at Mayor

Published: Jan. 2, 2012 at 11:09 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2012 at 11:55 PM HST
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Ben Cayetano
Ben Cayetano
Dan Boylan, Political Analyst
Dan Boylan, Political Analyst
Panos Prevedouros
Panos Prevedouros

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ben Cayetano said he wasn't doing anything except watch football today, but if he does decide to run for mayor his schedule will get a whole lot busier.

It could set up a match up between former Governor Ben Cayetano versus current Mayor Peter Carlisle versus former Mayor Kirk Caldwell this year in the race for Honolulu Hale.  Another election battle focused squarely on the rail project.

Cayetano hasn't hid his disappointment for Mayor Carlisle and how he has handled the rail project.

"Transparency went out the window the moment he was sworn in," said Former Governor Ben Cayetano, about Mayor Peter Carlisle January 31, 2011.

"He spent 20 years throwing people in jail, he never analyzed a project like this by himself," said Cayetano, March 29, 2011.

Cayetano previously endorsed Carlisle. Now he's thinking about running against him.  Cayetano says he's running around gauging if there is enough support and interest.  He plans to make an announcement one way or another in the next 10 to 14 days.

"It's a guy who is someone to contend with," said Dan Boylan, Political Analyst.  "Remember if Ben Cayetano enters this race, Kirk Caldwell enters this race and Peter Carlisle is in this race you have two haole politicians who are supportive of rail against one experienced Filipino politician who is opposed to it. That means splitting the pro rail vote.  That is very positive on Cayetano's side."

The city has already broken ground and work on the rail is underway.  But if Cayetano won it could be stopped in its tracks.

"If there is a candidate as strong as Ben Cayetano in the race running primarily against rail and he wins and wins by a significant margin that's a mandate by hook or by crook to defeat rail," said Boylan.

"Well he brings the experience and he brings the political heavy weight factor which I by no means have," said Panos Prevedouros, another anti-rail candidate who announced he will not be making a third try at the mayor's office.

"I believe 2012 will be the year of the rail. The whole drama will have courtroom drama, there's going to be injunctions, and there's going to be political rhetoric. There is really no room for an engineer," said Prevedouros.

The question is will the governor come out of retirement to run for mayor?

"I have a feeling he will not make this run but would I bet money on it? Absolutely not!" said Boylan.

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