There is a special election coming that will coincide with the September primary. The election will find the successor to former Mayor Mufi Hanneman. Hanneman resigned his position in order to run for Governor of Hawaii. There are currently five men who have filed paperwork for the special election. The list includes a long time city prosecutor, a couple of council members, a UH professor, and the interim mayor. Today Desperate America Report and the Honolulu Coffee Party Examiner will introduce the voters to the candidates.
Kirk Caldwell is the acting Mayor of Honolulu. He was previously the Managing Director under the Hanneman administration. Caldwell was elected to the State House of Representatives in 2002, representing the Manoa area. Caldwell served as House Majority Leader from 2006-2008. Caldwell spearheaded a $150 million effort focused on road repaving. Running on a platform of government transparency, streamlining the permitting process, and creating “safe zones” for the homeless live on, Caldwell looks to keep his stay inside of Honolulu Hale for another four years.
Perhaps one of the early front-runners for the Mayor’s office is former City Prosecutor, Peter Carlisle. Carlisle began his career as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu in 1978. He held the position for ten years until leaving for a partner position at a local law firm in 1988. Carlisle returned to the City Prosecutor’s office when he was elected in 1996. He was recently elected for his fourth consecutive term as City Prosecutor in 2008. Carlisle runs on a platform of fiscal responsibility, government efficiency, and lessening the burden on working families.
Donovan Dela Cruz is perhaps Carlisle’s biggest competition. The Honolulu City Councilman was elected in 2002 to represent Honolulu’s second district. Dela Cruz became the youngest City Council Chair in his freshman session and held the position from 2003-2007. The 37-year-old Wahiawa native serves on numerous committees such as the Public Safety and Services. Dela Cruz also serves as the Vice-Chair for the Committee on Public Infrastructure. The City Councilman runs on a platform focused on developing businesses and communities around the proposed rail transit system, moving many city services online, and expanding the curbside recycling program to businesses and apartments.
One of the more interesting stories in the Mayoral special election is the candidacy of Honolulu City Councilman, Rod Tam. Tam was censured by his fellow City Council members over ethics violations. It was discovered that Tam had incorrectly charged the City for meals totaling $14,000. Councilman Tam has twelve years as State Representative, eight years in the State Senate and has served the last eight years on the Honolulu City Council. Tam assisted in maintaining and coordinating various affordable housing projects including Kukui Garden. The embattled councilman runs on a platform focused on finding solutions to stimulate the economy, increase the efficiency of government, and find housing solutions for the homeless and senior populations.
The obvious underdog and outsider, Panos Prevedouros is looking to build on his 2008 campaign. A complete political unknown, Prevedouros ran for mayor in 2008 and came in third behind Ann Kobayashi and Mufi Hanneman. The University of Hawaii professor has been viewed as a one issue candidate because of his staunch opposition to the rail transit plan. Prevedouros has gained support due to his straight forward approach to the problems facing Honolulu. Prevedouros runs on a platform of reducing taxes for Honolulu residents, setting debt limits for the city, and using alternate options in place of the current rail transit plan.
It will be interesting to see the candidates face off on the issues. Prevedouros and Tam are the lone candidates who have strongly stated their positions. There is no doubt that as the September election inches closer, all the candidates will push harder for the left over votes in Honolulu. It should make for some very interesting television.
Join us tomorrow as we conclude our introduction to the candidates with a look at the race to become Governor of Hawaii. Fireworks are definitely in store for that battle!
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