Sit-Down With Candidates For Honolulu Mayor: Rick Blangiardi

Jul 16, 2020

The former television executive argues that his three decades overseeing large broadcasters in Hawaii give him the experience needed to steer Oahu through the twin challenges of a pandemic and deep recession.

The former television executive argues that his three decades overseeing large broadcasters in Hawaii give him the experience needed to steer Oahu through the twin challenges of a pandemic and deep recession.

 

 Best known as the head of the local TV news outlet Hawaii News Now, Blangiardi has been in Hawaii since his family relocated from Boston in 1965.

 

He says he originally made the decision to run for mayor in December, motivated to address issues that he felt were on the wrong track, like the Honolulu’s over-budget and behind-schedule rail project and the city’s homelessness crisis. But the COIVD-19 pandemic and associated recession have caused Blangiardi to recalibrate.

 

“Those issues are still there. They may even be more  pronounced than before, given the economy,” he said in an interview. “ Rebuilding our economy, getting people back to work, there is going to be a fallout. The economic fallout on this city... is going to be severe. And we’re going to have to figure our way through that.”

 

Blangiardi says he is the person for the job. He explained that he now sees the job of the mayor as rebuilding Oahu, both its economy and its people.

 

To do that, Blangiardi says he will lean on his business experience. As an example he cites the creation of Hawaii News Now in 2009, when the national media industry was in the midst of the Great Recession.

 

“I’ve always been a facilitator in nurturing that kind of success in the businesses I’ve run,” he declared.”  I really see us being in a catalyst role to do everything we possibly can from the Mayor’s office to get people back to work and feeling good about themselves, their families, all the things that come with that.”

 

According to Blangiardi, his time at the helm of large and complex organizations is what makes him the best pick for Mayor. He also notes that he is not shying away from the added challenges of responding to the pandemic and recession.

 

“I’ve run organizations in diverse settings, with lots of people,” Blangairdi said. “I’ve worked in this town, I’m really proud of my contribution. 43 years in broadcast, 30 of those years here serving the people of Hawaii. My life has been Hawaii. I’ve done a lot of things here, for Hawaii. And now I feel this is one that has become an even bigger challenge.”

 

Find the rest of our mayoral candidate interviews here.