Dods won’t run
for governor

The 61-year-old bank executive
says his family vetoed the idea

By Richard Borreca

First Hawaiian Bank's Walter Dods ended a week of political speculation and rumors today, saying he will not be a candidate for governor.

Last week Dods' closest business supporters said the 61-year-old multimillionaire was seriously thinking about becoming the fourth major Democrat in the race for governor. Today Dods said discussions with his family led him to his decision.

"My children said I have given 30 some years to the community already and they are worried how this would affect my health," Dods said. "It was a tough decision, I received tremendous support over the past 10 days, but it was asking too much of my family."

Dods, chairman and CEO of BancWest and First Hawaiian Bank, has advised and helped Hawaii's last three Democratic governors, George Ariyoshi, John Waihee and Ben Cayetano.

Already in the Democratic primary race are D.G. "Andy" Anderson, Rep. Ed Case and Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono.

Last week, Ariyoshi and Cayetano praised Dods and said he would be an excellent governor. Today Dods said that one of the reasons he would have run would be to "clean up the system." He has said privately that he was concerned about how political scandals and indictments affected government.

"I believe the system needs to be cleaned up and I would have accepted no money from architects and engineers, even if that meant I had to run the campaign with my own personal money -- I earned it the old fashioned way," Dods said.

Dods is one of Hawaii's most prominent businessmen and has served on the boards of many charities and foundations. He also is a major figure in the state's insurance, construction, shipping, resort and land development businesses.

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