Former Lt. Gov. Aiona pulls papers for three different races

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Former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona Jr. is contemplated a run for office.

The question is, which one?

With just days until the June 7th filing deadline, Aiona pulled election papers Wednesday for three different seats.

One is the seat being vacated by Congressman Mark Takai, who chose not to run for re-election to focus on his battle with cancer. That would pit him against former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, among others.

He also pulled papers for state Senate District 20, where he would run against incumbent Democrat Mike Gabbard, as well as papers for Honolulu Mayor, after telling us last month he was not inclined to run.

Peter Carlisle and Honolulu City Council chairman Ernie Martin have also pulled papers for mayor, while Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has already filed them.

Aiona took to social media to say he has yet to make a decision.

Political expert John Hart says usually the smaller the seat, the better the likelihood of victory, but “on the other hand, the mayoral race is nonpartisan. You don’t have to declare a party. Traditionally, Republicans have done well there, however Peter Carlisle has already declared and he’s considered a Republican.”

With the filing deadline less than a week away, Hart says Republicans need some big names.

“The Republican bench is not that deep in Hawaii,” he said. “They are going to have to have people with big name recognition for these bigger seats.”

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