HONOLULU (KHON2) — With less than a month left in office Governor David Ige reflects on his legacy and his accomplishments. He also shared what he plans to do next.
After eight years spent running the state, Gov. Ige said he’ll let history decide what his legacy is, but he is proud of what he and his administration accomplished. His response to the pandemic received a fair amount of criticism. But in the end, he said it was all about keeping people safe and Hawaii was among the best in the country in doing that.
“Hawaii was clearly number one in the country. We had among the lowest infection rates and death rates in the country. I know that every single death is tragic, but we did better than anyone else,” said Ige.
He added that the state has made great strides in building affordable housing and dealing with the homeless problem, but admits that there’s plenty of work that still needs to be done.
“We continue to see homeless individuals, but at least we have the programs in place. We are beginning to make progress and we are seeing a reduction each and every year,” he said.
Ige has also been criticized for nixing the plan to build an entertainment district around Aloha Stadium. Some Lawmakers said all he’s doing is delaying the project. Ige said the state only has the funding for the stadium itself so first things first.
“We have an appropriation, it should be sufficient to build a stadium. So we are to get on with it and build that as quickly as we can,” he said.
As far as what he’ll do next, the governor said he’ll work at something that involves public policy but probably not run for office. Although he said, he won’t rule that out completely.
“The one thing about public service is that it is an opportunity to really help a lot of people and you’re helping people every single day. And that’s not something that you get in many jobs,” said Ige.
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He does plan to take some time off first and do some traveling with first lady Dawn Ige. He said places on their bucket list are Patagonia and New Zealand.