Harbormaster joins race for governor
Community advocate William Aila entered the race for governor yesterday, ensuring that the Democratic nomination for governor will be contested.
The only other Democratic candidate so far trying to unseat Republican Gov. Linda Lingle is former state lawmaker Randy Iwase.
Aila, 47, is the Waianae harbormaster and a spokesman for the native Hawaiian group Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei.
"I'm not a politician. I'm just a country boy from Waianae," Aila said at the capitol, where he announced his candidacy in blue jeans and with green, orange and blue leis around his neck.
"I have an idea, I have a passion and I have a willingness to work with people who may not agree with me," Aila said.
Aila said he would focus on eliminating homelessness and finding ways to provide affordable housing for all residents.
More than 50 supporters stood behind him as he spoke, some of them holding signs saying, "Together we can end homelessness," and "Housing is a human right."
"Being homeless is not a crime. Being homeless is a simple case of bad, bad timing," Aila said. "We need to build homes for Hawaii's people."
Aila said he has raised $3,000 during the first two weeks of his campaign, and he hopes to receive $100,000 before the Sept. 23 primary. By comparison, Iwase now has more than $100,000 in his war chest, according to his campaign, and Lingle boosters say she plans to spend about $6 million to win re-election.
"Good ideas and good solutions sometimes work better than slick campaign ads," Aila said.
Iwase campaign officials declined to draw comparisons between him and Aila. Iwase has centered his campaign on labeling Lingle as a big-business Republican who neglects the wider population.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
» William Aila Jr., 48, announced his candidacy on Monday for the Democratic nomination for governor. A photo of William Aila Sr. was incorrectly run with a Page A4 story in yesterday's morning edition. The correct photo appears here.