Former Lt. Gov. Aiona strongly considers run for governor

Former Lt. Gov. Aiona strongly considers run for governor
Published: Jan. 17, 2014 at 5:51 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2014 at 4:27 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Duke Aiona set off a social media storm today when he called into Christian radio station 95.5 the FISH and revealed plans to run for Governor.

No big press conference or press release. Instead Aiona spilled the beans to  Christian radio DJ Dawn O'Brien.

Political analysts say it's a sign that same sex marriage could play a key role in the race for Governor.

Ever since Aiona lost to Neil Abercrombie in the 2010 election, there has been speculation about another go at the Governor's race.

Dawn O'Brien teased a mystery guest on air and facebook since Wednesday. This morning at 6:40, the small Christian radio station broke the big news in a live call from the former Lieutenant Governor himself.

Aiona said, "Let's just say it's very close and I'm very serious in regard to filing those papers. It'll be for Governor as a Republican."

O'Brien said the response was overwhelming. In her words, "the phone lines got slammed, Facebook went crazy. All social media just went kaboom!"

Hawaii Pacific University Communications Professor said, "It's not surprising that's where he made his announcement. He knows where his demographic is. He knows what part of the populace he needs if he wants to be competitive in this race."

It's not official until he files papers, but Aiona told us by phone today, "I am strongly, strongly, strongly considering running for the governor's race and it is my intention to run for the Governor's race.

At this point in time it's a very strong consideration and I have every intention to run for governor."

He added, "I am in the process of speaking to the many people who have encouraged me to run, speaking to possible donors and seeing what kind of organization I would have if I were to run."

Governor Abercrombie laughed off talk of a re-match, saying "If it was official, we'd already have our nominations."

He then added, "I don't really think it's appropriate to comment on personal political agendas while the session is on. I'm issue focused right now."

Hawaii News Now reporter Tannya Joaquin asked "How about the same sex marriage issue? This is going to be a focal point of the campaign."

Abercrombie responded, "Well we're in the Legislative session and I'm concentrating on issues in front of the Legislature. Personal political agendas can take care of themselves in the primary."

O'Brien says the issue is big with her Christian radio listeners. She said, "I know the same sex marriage passing into law seemed to have a lot of backlash from people saying let the people vote."

Dr. Hart says of the same sex marriage issue, "In terms of the hands Duke has to play, that's a big card. The question will be how many in the middle will go for that and how many are simply anti-Abercrombie and will go for that. "

Aiona told Hawaii News Now, "Obviously you know where I stand on that issue. My intention to run for Governor is for all of the above. All of the above is basically the fact that I believe I am qualified, have the skills, have the knowledge, the ability to be Governor."

As for the other gubernatorial candidates, Governor Abercrombie is facing a primary challenge from State Senator David Ige.

There have also been rumblings that former Honolulu Mayor, Democrat Mufi Hannemann, may switch parties to run as a Republican  or mount an independent candidacy.

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