Mayor Alan Arakawa has endorsed Hawaii Independent Party gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann, the candidate's campaign announced Friday.
"I know in my heart of hearts that Mufi Hannemann is the best administrator," said Arakawa, who himself is running for a second consecutive term this fall. "He is very trustworthy and can be depended upon to do what he says he is going to do."
The Maui County mayor said he has known Hannemann for more than three decades and has worked very closely with him through the Hawaii Council of Mayors.
Hawaii Independent Party gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann (from left), Mayor Alan Arakawa and Hannemann’s running mate, Les Chang, pose for a photo after Arakawa endorsed Hannemann for governor.
"There are deficits virtually in every department in the state," Arakawa said. "When you talk to the personnel, they tell you about lack of support in equipment, manpower and antiquated policies. Mufi, as a former mayor, understands what it takes at the ground level. He has served several governors, and he has the executive experience to address these deficits."
Hannemann, who ran against Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic Party primary four years ago and lost, said that he was "humbled and pleased" to receive Arakawa's endorsement.
"He has proven to be the quintessential mayor who can work in a bipartisan fashion and bridge the gaps between party divides," said Hannemann. "Having worked with Mayor Arakawa over the past several years, I admire the fact that he is knowledgeable, experienced visionary, and has a reputation of getting the job done."
If elected, Hannemann said he intends to create the Hawaii Council of Leaders made up of the governor and the four county mayors. He pioneered the formation of the Hawaii Council of Mayors back in 2005 when he was first elected mayor of Honolulu. The council continues to operate today, Hannemann's news release said.
"The Hawaii Council of Mayors is proof positive that when all four county chiefs are working together, four heads are better than one," Hannemann said. "With the proposed HCL, the mantra will be five heads - with the governor included - will also be better than one."
He said the council of leaders will work toward strengthening government collaboration and cooperation at the executive level between the state and country jurisdictions, encouraging streamlining efficiencies and collaboratively planning strategy.
Top priority will be given to homelessness, the state hospitals, transportation - including an interisland ferry service - public safety, allocation of the transient accommodations tax and collective bargaining, he said.
"If the state does well, the counties prosper," the candidate said. "If the counties are strengthened, the state will benefit, and ultimately, the people whom we serve win."