GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Former state Sen. Randy Iwase announced his candidacy for governor yesterday on the grounds of his alma mater, Kaimuki High School. Iwase is the first major Democrat to announce his candidacy.
Iwase enters race to challenge Lingle
The Democrat accuses the incumbent of not solving the state’s ills
Flanked by about 50 supporters and family members, former state Sen. Randy Iwase returned yesterday to his alma mater, Kaimuki High School, to enter the race for governor.
Personal: Born Dec. 1, 1947; married with three children
Profession: Lawyer; currently chairman of state Labor Appeals Board; former executive director of the Aloha Tower Development Corp., 1988-90
Political: Honolulu City Council, 1984-1988; state Senate, 1990-2000
Education: University of San Francisco School of Law, University of Florida, Kaimuki High School
Iwase, 58, is the first major Democrat to announce his candidacy. His announcement drew the immediate approval of party Chairman Brickwood Galuteria, who attended the news conference.
Galuteria said he was encouraging other Democrats to enter the race but noted that he was impressed with Iwase's willingness to run.
Iwase said he would resign his position as chairman of the state Labor Board of Appeals within the next two weeks.
Also attending the news conference was Democratic U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who endorsed Iwase's campaign.
"I think he is the candidate that could get the job done. None of the others have stepped forward. I was impressed with his passion and willingness," Abercrombie said.
For his part, Iwase sees real differences between himself and incumbent Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.
"I believe that a governor must act to help our people. I believe that it is not enough just to take a stand. The governor must act to make things work.
"This is not the guiding light for the Republican incumbent," Iwase said.
In response, Lingle issued a brief statement, saying she was looking forward to a general election campaign.
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Randy Iwase said yesterday that his campaign will rely on grass-roots efforts, acknowledging his campaign war chest will not approach Gov. Lingle's.
"I wish him well in his primary race. Once our opponents are chosen by the voters, Lt. Gov. Aiona and I look forward to a spirited fall campaign.
"We expect it to be a positive campaign that focuses on important issues and which highlights our ongoing initiatives to fulfill our commitment to make life better for all the people of our state," Lingle said.
Iwase launched his campaign with an attack on Lingle, saying she has raised issues such as education, homelessness and drug addiction but failed to deliver solutions.
"The Republican incumbent has a record of promises unfulfilled, a record that does not merit another four years in office," Iwase said.
"Our campaign will expose the pesky realities behind the huge public relations firm presently called the Governor's Office."*
He also acknowledged that his campaign will not have anything close to the $6 million that Lingle estimates she will raise for her campaign.
"We will rely on the grass roots," said Iwase, who served for 10 years in the state Senate and four years on the Honolulu City Council.
The primary election is Sept. 23, and the general election is Nov. 7.
Still considering the race is Big Island Mayor Harry Kim. Last year, he said that he had been approached to run and that he had switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party.
Kim's status as a possible opponent picked up after he attended a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and insisted on giving the introduction for Inouye.
Since then, Kim has declined to say if he would run.
Abercrombie said that is why he was backing Iwase.
"If they haven't declared by now, with the Legislature already under way, what are their possibilities for declaring in the future?" Abercrombie said.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
» Democratic gubernatorial candidate Randy Iwase said, "Our campaign will expose the pesky realities behind the huge public relations firm presently called the Governor's Office." A quotation on Page A6 yesterday was incorrectly reported.