HONOLULU — Just days before the primary election this Saturday, Hawaii Island newspaper West Hawaii Today has endorsed leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate David Ige.
The publication’s editorial board stated: “In the Democratic primary, we endorse challenger David Ige. The former state senator has a reputation as a thoughtful, quiet leader well suited to working with others. A ‘numbers guy,’ as one reporter noted, Ige has the right aptitude to manage the large state budget and administration.
“Ige, in candidate forums and debates, has presented a clearer vision of what steps he would take if elected governor and has been able to clearly articulate his vision for Hawaii over the next four years.”
Ige has received endorsements from the Hawaii State Teachers Association and former governors Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi, marking a first in Hawaii’s political history where two former governors have endorsed a candidate in a primary election.
“I am very thankful to West Hawaii Today for their endorsement of my candidacy in the primary election,” Ige said. “As I have said before, I plan to be a leader that listens to the people. I have spent the past year of my campaign traveling across the state, including numerous trips to Hawaii Island, to get direct feedback from citizens on what their concerns are. We must all work together to move Hawaii forward.”
Ige, an electrical engineer who is program/project manager with Robert A. Ige and Associates Inc., chaired the Senate Committee on Ways and Means for the past three years. During his eight years in the Hawaii House of Representatives and 21 years in the State Senate, he led a total of nine House and Senate committees, including Higher Education, Education and Technology, Economic Development, and Information Technology.
He gave his final speech as a senator at the close of the legislative session in May.
Ige is challenging Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has been in office since 2010 and served nine consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has also served in the Hawaii House of Representatives, in the State Senate, and on the Honolulu City Council. Abercrombie’s endorsers include President Obama and The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The winner of the Democratic primary is expected to face Republican James “Duke” Aiona, former lieutenant governor, and independent candidate Mufi Hannemann, former mayor of Honolulu, in the November general election.