Another face in mayoral race

The announcement Thursday by County Council member Don Guzman that he will seek the office of mayor in 2018 adds yet another dynamic to that race.

Former Council Member Mike Victorino has indicated he will also seek the post and there is a lot of speculation that Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui is also interested in succeeding Mayor Alan Arakawa. Guzman’s fellow Council Member Elle Cochran has expressed interest in the office, too.

Arakawa faces term limits and cannot run again for mayor. He has expressed interest in the lieutenant governor post. If Tsutsui runs for mayor, he and Arakawa could basically just be trading jobs.

Guzman is running on a platform of easing the tensions between the Mayor’s Office and the County Council. There have been some tense times and disagreements between the Arakawa administration and items like the destruction of the old Wailuku Post Office and the growth of the county budget.

Guzman pledged in his announcement that he would work closely with the council to improve the working relationship with the Mayor’s Office.

“I can serve as a bridge,” he told an enthusiastic crowd of supporters Thursday night at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. According to The Maui News story of the announcement, Guzman said in a prepared statement:

“Government needs to restore trust and serving as mayor should be absent of arrogance. . . . It is the mayor’s duty to consider all sides, consult with knowledgeable people and build coalitions to achieve goals.

“I’m about making sure things are fair.”

It would appear that Guzman’s entry into the race has assured that the public will have its choice from a sizable group of popular politicians.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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