Sens. Green, Espero announce runs for lieutenant governor in 2018

Sen. Josh Green announces run for lieutenant governor
Published: Sep. 1, 2017 at 12:19 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 1, 2017 at 6:11 PM HST
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Sen. Will Espero (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Sen. Will Espero (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two more politicians have announced they're running for lieutenant governor in the 2018 election -- adding to what will likely be a crowded field of candidates.

Hawaii Sen. Josh Green, who represents Kona and Kau, made a formal announcement Friday on Hawaii News Now Sunrise that he'll be running for lieutenant governor.

"I'm doing it because I care about Hawaii families very deeply," he said.

He said his top priorities are dealing with homelessness, pushing for universal health care and addressing the opioid crisis.

"I learned in this last year that if you are bold and you look to what would actually make people's lives better, you can get a lot of interest, you can get a lot of traction," he said.

Sen. Green, who's also a doctor, was first elected into the state House of Representatives in 2004 and then served in the Senate starting in 2008.

State Sen. Will Espero also announced on Twitter on Friday that he will be running for lieutenant governor.

Espero, whose district includes Ewa Beach, has served in the Legislature for 16 years, including three years in the House. He has also worked for the City and County of Honolulu as an appointee of Mayor Frank Fasi.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and state Sen. Jill Tokuda have already said they're running for lieutenant governor.

Current Lieutenant Gov. Shan Tsutsui told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in March that it was very doubtful that he would seek reelection, but he would likely run for Maui mayor.

With three State Senators and a neighbor-island vying for the L.G. post, it's clearly a sought after position, but five state's don't have a lieutenant governor at all. Is it really a necessary post?

"It has next to no constitutional responsibilities," said political commentator Dan Boylan. "You get a car. You got a big office. You have a staff."

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano disagrees.

"It all depends on the person, what you make of it," he said. "And if you have the support of the governor you can do some good things."

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