Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Mazie Hirono reconsiders
candidacy, source says

The source says the lieutenant
governor may run for
mayor instead of governor

By Richard Borreca

Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono is reassessing her campaign for governor. At a public appearance this morning Hirono said she would not comment on her candidacy while she works on programs to help the state in its economic crisis.

A source close to Hirono, however, said that she is reviewing her political options and may consider running for mayor of Honolulu next year.

But Hirono is not expected to make a decision this month.

This morning, Hirono said her "entire focus will be in bringing help to Hawaii."

"It is obvious that I have a lot on my plate, so any questions regarding my future I will discuss with you later," Hirono told reporters.

"Today, I am going to be completely focused, as I have been since Sept. 11. I have been very focused on bringing help to Hawaii," she said.

She refused to answer questions as to whether she would run for governor or mayor.

"This is not the time; what is front and center is how we can help the businesses and people of Hawaii," Hirono said.

She leaves today for Washington, D.C. to ask Congress for federal aid for isle businesses.

If she bows out of the 2002 campaign for governor, she leaves the Democratic primary to Mayor Jeremy Harris and possibly state Rep. Ed Case and former Republican state senator D.G. "Andy" Anderson.

Case said he would decide in the next week whether or not he would run for governor.

The Hirono campaign has been hamstrung by an inability to raise enough money for a statewide campaign, according to campaign sources.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks and the economic crisis in Hawaii there has been a concern that raising campaign funds would be even more difficult.

Whoever wins the Democratic primary next September is expected to face Republican party chairwoman Linda Lingle, who says she is planning to raise more than $4 million for her campaign for governor.

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