After months of battling on the campaign trail, Hawaii Democrats gathered Sunday morning to break bread and move forward at the party’s traditional Unity Breakfast.
This year’s governor’s race was heated with incumbent Gov. David Ige proving his worth again.
“Collectively, everything that we have done we were focused on getting our message out and our record for people to be able to compare and examine,” said Ige.
As for his challenger, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa tells us it’s time to step aside.
“I’ve said that I don’t believe I’ll run for office again because I feel I had an amazing political journey and what I want to see is the next generation,” said Hanabusa. “You know the next generation has to come forward or more than that feel like there’s a place for them.”
Another race that took the spotlight was for the lieutenant governor’s seat, which was one of the closest races of the night. Candidate Dr. Josh Green was only up by about 6,700 votes on the final printout.
“It was totally humbling to go up against super opponents. Jill was a super fighter till the end, the others are terrific people,” said Green.
Green tells us his expertise in healthcare has already proven helpful in working with Ige.
“The governor’s always trusted me to work on those issues and those are not your typical political issues so it’s a wonderful space I believe to have lieutenant governor,” said Green.
“I do know and I’ve worked with him in the past on challenges of the hospital system about physician shortage, especially in rural communities how we can serve our people better. So I know there are a lot of different areas that we have alignment in the priorities and that his specific expertise would add a lot of value to moving forward,” said Ige.
Meanwhile, runner-up Jill Tokuda and third place vote-getter Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. say there’s still a lot of fight in them.
“I’m ready to go back home and be mayor. I’m still mayor until Nov. 1, so looking forward to continue that,” said Carvalho.
“I’m not sure what tomorrow brings, but public service is definitely in my future,” said Tokuda. “They need somebody to be their champion whether it was affordability issues, neighbor island issues, those issues still need to be at the table right now. They still need that champion so I don’t think we could ever forget and that’s really what today’s Unity Breakfast is about, is unifying all those voices.”