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All 8 Lieutenant Governor Candidates Together for the First Time

Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Venture Capital Association hosted a Lieutenant Governor Candidate Forum today.

Credit Wayne Yoshioka
HVCA president, Meli James, moderated the forum

The 5 Democrats and 3 Republicans running for Lieutenant Governor appeared together for the first time.  And were asked by Hawai’i Venture Capital Association President, Meli James, why they’re seeking the office and the one word that captured their candidacy.  In Alphabetical Order, Kaua’i Mayor Bernard Carvalho: Democrat.


“I’ve managed various departments from public works, parks, planning, police, fire, transportation, daily operational needs and I want to take all of that executive-level experience into the lieutenant governor and spread it throughout the entire state.  Your one word: ’Commitment.”


Senator Will Espero from Leeward O’ahu: Democrat.


“I’m concerned about the working people and I want to commit the next 12 to 16 years of my career to the working families. Your children.  Your grandchildren.  To make certain they don’t have to move away, they have a home over their head and a great education as well.  What’s your one word:  ’Visionary.”


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Eight candidates, 5 Democrats and 3 Republicans are running in the Primary Election run-off

Senator Josh Green from West Hawai’i Island: Democrat.


“I’m walking door-to-door throughout the entire state.  I’ve walked in now 40 communities to every corner of those communities because I want to see what people are really facing.  So, I’ve seen our challenges and I’ve seen them from the perspectives of the wealthy all the way to the poorest individuals.  If you want one word about what I’ll be as lieutenant governor, it will be ‘Compassionate.”


Attorney Kim Coco Iwamoto: Democrat.


“I’m actually endorsed by the Democrat Socialists of Honolulu because I’m willing to take on the huge influence corporations have in our state.  And, I want to turn the lieutenant governor’s office into the people’s office so my one word would be, ‘People.”


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
The Forum was conducted at the Pacific Club

Transportation Executive Marissa Kerns:  Republican.


“I was working since I was, like, 8 years old and never stopped working.  I would call myself, ‘the firecracker.’  If you put me into the office I can tell you what we should do.  We will crack everything:  waste, good news, bad news, to Hawai’i.  Your word: ’Firecracker.”


Computer and software manager Steve Lipscomb: Republican.


“I’m a retired Air Force pilot.  After that, I signed on with Dell computers here; I moved to Microsoft.  I see all kinds of interesting opportunities on the horizon here to have innovation in my 3 E’s, which are the economy, education and environment.  My one word: ‘Collaborator.”


Research Analyst Jeremy Low:  Republican.


“The reality is, you gotta ask yourself a fundamental question, ‘Do you think the status quo is okay.’  If you don’t, real change means voting Republican in Hawai’i.  We have different ideas; we have different methodologies; we will bring you real solutions.  What’s your one word?  ’Backbone.”


Senator Jill Tokuda from Windward O’ahu:  Democrat


“My one word?  Fighter.  I’m a working mom with 2 kids.  I want all of our children to be able to see a future for themselves here.  I want all of our businesses to be able to – not just survive – but thrive here.  So we need a fighter in the lieutenant governor’s office to be a champion that’s gonna make sure everyone has a real opportunity here in Hawai’i.”


The Democratic and Republican winner in the August 11th Primary Election will face-off in the General Election, November 6th.  Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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