Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann Running for Hawaii Governor as Independent


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The governor’s race officially got a lot more interesting today with former Mayor Mufi Hannemann declaring he will run as the candidate for the newly created Hawaii Independent Party.

Hannemann lost the last two times he ran for office. But he said he’s responding to what he’s heard from hundreds of people statewide.

“People are frustrated and disappointed with our government and definitely feel we deserve better,” Hannemann said in his first campaign news release.

He said people felt the current state administration of Gov. Neil Abercrombie vowed a "New Day,” but people are still waiting for that promise to be fulfilled.

Hannemann, a former Honolulu Mayor and former City Council member, lost big to then-lesser-known candidate Tulsi Gabbard for the U.S. House. That came on the heels of his previous defeat two years before, when he lost the 2010 Democratic primary to longtime political rival Abercrombie.

Hannemann said he is offering himself as “someone who will put people first by listening and collaborating, rather than ruling by decree.”

And he pointed to a record of achievement “who as mayor of Honolulu assembled a very capable, non-partisan team that left the city a better place than we found it.”

So, is there more to this new party than the former mayor?

Michelle Del Rosario, state chairwoman of the new party, said the organization is just getting started but expects to field four to eight other candidates in the state House, and a U.S. Senate candidate from the Big Island.

Del Rosario has been involved in political grassroots campaigns in Hawaii and on the Mainland. She is a former vice chair for the Maui County Democratic party.

“We realize we’re not going to field a full slate of candidates,” Del Rosario said. “This is a good starting point.”

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