Former governors lend support as Ige opens campaign HQ

Published: Mar. 2, 2014 at 1:57 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2014 at 11:34 AM HST
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MOILIILI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - David Ige's quest for governor may lack a lot of campaign funding. But the opening of his campaign headquarters didn't lack political power.

Hundreds of supporters in blue t-shirts turned out Saturday for the opening of Ige's headquarters at the Varsity Office Building in Moiliili. They included Senate Ways and Means Vice Chair, Sen. Michelle Kidani, and committee member Sen. Laura Thielen. Ige, a Democrat from Pearl City, chairs the senate money panel.

The big support came from former governors George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano, who came out for Ige several weeks ago.

"You know, I'm an old man, and the future does not belong to me," the 87-year-old Ariyoshi told the crowd. "The future belongs to most all of you and the young people in our community. And I want that future to be very good for them. And I don't believe they're getting that direction now."

Cayetano said the decision was especially difficult, given that he and Gov. Neil Abercrombie have a long history together.

"'You've known him for 40 years. You guys are close,'" Cayetano recalled his wife telling him. "He wrote the foreword to my book. But friendship should not stand in the way of what's best for the state."

In a recent Hawaii News Now/Star-Advertiser Poll, Abercrombie was ahead of Ige by nine percentage points in the governor's race. But in the race of money, Abercrombie is far ahead. As of December 31, the Abercrombie campaign had nearly $2.2 million. Ige's campaign funds totaled just over $76,500.

"He's got to speak out a little more and let people know what he's for. And he's got to raise some money," said Cayetano.

Ige was grateful to have the support of the two former governors.

"I've respected both of these gentlemen for different reasons, but they both have played a very big part of my life," Ige told the crowd.

It also appears that the two will have a big part of Ige's campaign to unseat Abercrombie.

"I don't care who else runs. I'm concentrating on David Ige's campaign," said Ariyoshi. "I'm going to see that he gets elected."

Related story: HAWAII POLL - Aiona tops Abercrombie in early look at governor race

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