Notable names among overcrowded candidates eyeing Hawaii lieutenant governor

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The race for Hawaii’s lieutenant governor is still a year away, but it’s already attracting a crowded audience.

Candidates include State Representative and House Finance Speaker Sylvia Luke and her former State Senate counterpart, former State Senator Jill Tokuda; and two former city council members Ikaika Anderson and Ron Menor, who is also a longtime former state lawmaker.

Two business leaders, Hawaii Chamber of Commerce CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara, and former Hawaii High School Athletics Association executive director Keith Amemiya, who also introduced without success at the town hall last year, also present themselves.

“Really, it’s probably anyone’s race, but I think Tokuda, Anderson and Amemiya are likely to have the most notoriety,” said Colin Moore, political analyst at Hawaii News Now.

Moore, a political science professor at the University of Hawaii, said money would be the key to a crowded race like this.

“Money can be decisive because, as we know, many of these people are known to people who follow politics, they are not well known to average voters. So you need the money to build name recognition, ”he said.

Amemiya received nearly $ 2.4 million in donations for the 2020 mayoral race while Tokuda raised around $ 800,000 for the lieutenant governor’s race, according to records from the Campaign Expenses Commission of the ‘State.

Moore said union supporters would also play a vital role.

“Ikaika Anderson would definitely benefit from the support of the unions. He already maintains close relations with the unions. Jill Tokuda, for sure, Sylvia Luke – really any of them will benefit, ”he said.

Amemiya also received endorsements from some of the biggest unions of public sector employees in the mayoral race: Hawaii government employees and the United Public Workers Union. So getting these endorsements again will provide a huge boost.

“These crowded races can be really unpredictable,” said Moore.

“It really means your people have to turn around (on election day). It ends up being really important.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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