Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Capitol View

By Richard Borreca

Wednesday, June 7, 2000

On the inside
track to gov’s office

THE way to Washington Place, the governor's mansion, runs straight through the state Capitol's second set of koa doors: the lieutenant governor's office.

In Hawaii's short history as a state, three of the five governors rose through the ranks and directly succeeded their bosses. Lt. Gov. George Ariyoshi followed Gov. John Burns; Lt. Gov. John Waihee came after Governor Ariyoshi and Lt. Gov. Ben Cayetano won after eight years of working with Waihee.

Now, Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono says she wants to be governor in two years. Governor Cayetano agrees, predicting that his political partner for the past six years will keep the streak alive.

Just showing up, however, doesn't get you the prize. Loyal lieutenant governors are rewarded with the Washington Place keys; those who run against their boss, such as Tom Gill and Jean King -- two lieutenant governors who tried to replace an incumbent, not-ready-to-retire governor -- didn't make the cut.

One of the more interesting races for 2002 will be for lieutenant governor. If you make it on the winning ticket, your stock goes up 1,000 percent.

Don't worry about balancing the ticket, just get on it and make sure your side wins. When John Waihee was running for governor, hours were spent discussing who would be the best running mate.

SO, today who is lining up to fill the second seat?

At least two Honolulu City Council members are thinking about the run. Former chairman John DeSoto has a lot of name recognition after being in office since 1986 and is a committed community worker.

Also strong in community affairs is Councilwoman Rene Mansho, who has considered running in two years. The Council members are under special pressure to find new jobs because they all reach the two-term limit in 2002.

While DeSoto and Mansho are both Democrats, a Republican in the state House, Rep. David Pendleton, an attorney, is being discussed as a possible running mate if GOP chairwoman Linda Lingle decides to run for governor again.

Because the GOP has fewer candidates to put up against the majority, Pendleton is the only name now circulating on the GOP side, but the race is still two years away.

Also enjoying the rumors on the Democratic side is Rep. Ed Case. He won a strong endorsement from Cayetano as a House member to watch. Cayetano predicted that Case would make a good lieutenant governor and perhaps even governor some day.

CASE has something of Cayetano's outspoken maverick political sense, but if he is going on to move to higher office, he might look to imitate Waihee, who after serving as a leader in the 1978 Constitutional Convention, put in one term in the House as Demo-cratic leader and solidified a base of support across the state to win the lieutenant governorship in Ariyoshi's last term.

Former Democratic legislator Mike McCartney is also rumored to be considering running for lieutenant governor. He and Hirono would make a strong team and his youth would make him an attractive candidate.

Finally, at the Democratic convention, the new rumored dark horse candidate for lieutenant governor was James Apana, the mayor of Maui. Even younger than McCartney, part-Hawaiian and a neighbor islander, Apana would be able to raise money and could win by bringing in uncommitted neighbor island votes.

Legislature Directory
Hawaii Revised Statutes
Legislature Bills

Richard Borreca reports on Hawaii's politics every Wednesday.
He can be reached by e-mail at

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin