HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run as a team in the general election after separate campaigns in the primary, building that new relationship can be a challenge.
Hawaii’s primary elections create something like an old-fashioned arranged marriage of the governor and lieutenant governor candidates.
They don’t pick their partners and don’t have much time to reconcile their differences or heal old wounds.
Josh Green, for example, enjoyed the support of the Carpenters Union in the primary and into the general while the union’s PAC, Be Change Now, spent over $1 million on attack ads against Sylvia Luke.
But she won the primary and is now Green’s running mate.
Green says they talked about the attack ads.
“We spoke about that very passionately and privately,” Green said. “And I just reached out to Sylvia to make sure she was OK. And she is she’s strong as can be.”
Despite that, Luke announced that she would not be included in any Carpenters Union ads supporting the ticket.
Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial candidate James “Duke” Aiona had to talk to Seaula “Junior” Tupai about reports that he would not have certified Biden’s election.
“I’ve had multiple discussions, and I don’t think he believes that it was rigged,” Aiona said. “I think he like many of us, like I said, there’s concerns.”
The other issue is what role the lieutenant governor will play after the election.
Tupai has never held office so Aiona says he will involve him in everything ― a crash course in governing.
“And he has full access to it to really understand what it means to be the governor of the state of Hawaii because that’s his primary responsibility,” Aiona said.
“If anything were to happen to me, he would be the governor,” Aiona said.
Aiona said he’d ask Tupai, a pastor and high school football coach, to focus on youth programs.
Meanwhile, Green says he and Luke, the head of the money committee in the state House, have agreed she’ll manage early education, expanding broadband and leveraging her legislative relationships.
“Her expertise, her power in the house, her relationships will translate to action,” Green said.
Green had a sometimes strained relationship as lieutenant governor with Gov. David Ige, whose relationship with former Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui was even worse.
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