Headshots of Lieutenant Governor Candidates, Bernard Carvalho Jr., Jeremy Low, and Josh Green

Five Lieutenant Governor Candidates Share Their Views

Karleen Chinen

This year’s race for lieutenant governor has attracted a crowded field of 11 candidates: five Democrats, three Republicans, two nonpartisans and one Green Party member — all vying to be second in command of the state and the acting governor when the governor is out of state or incapacitated. We emailed the following questionnaire to each of the candidates at their address listed on the state Office of Elections website. The following five candidates responded.

We start this questionnaire with a brief profile of the candidates who responded, in alphabetical order.

BERNARD CARVALHO JR.

Island of residence:  Kaua‘i

Current occupation: Mayor, County of Kaua‘i, since 2008

Party affiliation: Democrat

Previous political experience: Kaua‘i County Mayor and previous appointed positions

JOSH GREEN

Island of residence: Big Island

Current occupation: Physician/State Senator

Party affiliation: Democrat

Previous political experience: Hawai‘i State House of Representatives, 2004-2008; Hawai‘i    State Senate, 2008-present

KIM COCO IWAMOTO

Island of residence: O‘ahu

Current occupation: Small business owner

Party affiliation: Democrat

Previous political experience: Elected Board of Education, December 2006-April 2011

JEREMY LOW

Island of residence: O‘ahu

Current occupation: Research analyst

Party affiliation: Republican

Previous political experience: Candidate for    State Senate 1992, won contested Republican    primary election; candidate for Honolulu City    Council 2010; candidate for State House 2012,    won contested Republican primary election

JILL TOKUDA

Island of residence: O‘ahu

Current occupation: State Senator

Party affiliation: Democrat

Previous political experience: State Senator since November 2006

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO RUN FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AS OPPOSED TO ANY OF THE OTHER MORE HIGH-PROFILE
RACES?

BERNARD CARVALHO:  I believe the lieutenant governor’s office can and should be the people’s office. My strength as a leader is bringing people together, and this office has the potential to be that bridge between the people and their government.

As mayor of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau for the past 10 years, I’ve enjoyed building teams and empowering them to work on practical solutions. Together as a county, we’ve set footprints to address issues that affect not just our county, but the entire state. I’ve decided it’s time to take those footprints to the next level.

With the support of my family, we decided my next step in public service would be as lieutenant governor. Together as the people of Hawai‘i, we can make our state a better place for everyone if we come together and THINK BIG.

JOSH GREEN:  I have spent my entire adult life caring for the people of Hawai‘i as a doctor and as a policy maker working on issues like access to healthcare for children, affordable college and solutions to our homeless crisis. As lieutenant governor, I intend to take ownership of the homeless crisis and the opioid epidemic and show that Hawai‘i can lead the nation on solutions to these problems.

I have a young family and being able to take up these challenges as a physician leader here at home would be a blessing for us.

KIM COCO IWAMOTO:  The lieutenant governor’s office has been one of the most underutilized resources in Hawai‘i government. While the physical footprint of the office is the same size as the governor’s office, it has been wasted space — an oversized waiting room for a silent understudy to the governor. With a staff of 13 people, the LG’s office could be doing so much more for the people of Hawai‘i.

Corporations are spending millions of dollars to elevate their influence at the State Capitol — I want to make sure there is at least one office focused on elevating the people’s voice, their concerns and their community-based solutions. The LG’s office can serve as the people’s office, where those of us working on the front lines of our state’s most pressing problems can build our coalitions, coalesce our power and reclaim our democracy.

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