Green, Aiona headed for governor’s race in November
The Associated Press
HONOLULU — For their 16th wedding anniversary, Democrats in Hawaii gifted Josh Green and his wife, Jaime, a comfortable margin of victory in the gubernatorial primary Saturday.
Green, the state’s current lieutenant governor, handily defeated former first lady Vicky Cayetano and Kaiali’i Kahele, who decided to seek the governor’s office instead of a second term in the U.S. House.
Green, with lei of yellow and purple flowers and green leaves piled high up to his neck, alternated between throwing fists in the air and giving the shaka sign to a boisterous crowd of supporters at his victory party.
“On to November, we will win the governorship and lead Hawaii forward,” he said to the cheering crowd.
He will face former two-term Republican Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona in the general election, who defeated mixed martial arts championship fighter B.J. Penn in his party’s primary.
In an interview with Hawaii News Now, Aiona said his supporters “trusted my ability to lead the state, and I’m truly, truly appreciative and grateful for that.”
Green has served as second-in-command for the past four years to Hawaii Gov. David Ige, who has already served two terms and isn’t eligible to run for reelection.
The winner of the Democratic primary is favored to win the general election in the liberal state.
Many voters said Hawaii’s high housing costs were a top issue for them. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the median price of a single-family home topped $1 million in Honolulu, Maui and Kauai counties.
To address the housing shortage, Green said he would issue an executive order to eliminate red tape and streamline construction approvals and enforce existing laws to shut down illegal vacation rentals.
Aiona said he would eliminate the state Land Use Commission, which he blamed for slowing housing development.
Former state Sen. Jill Tokuda beat state Rep. Patrick Pihana Branco for the Democratic nomination for that seat, Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District.
Among Republicans, former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst and businessman Joe Akana defeated business owner Joseph Webster.
In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Ed Case beat attorney and political newcomer Sergio Alcubilla in the Democratic primary. Case in the general election will face former U.S. Navy SEAL Conrad Kress, who defeated two other candidates to win the Republican primary.
In the U.S. Senate race, sitting U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz defeated Democratic primary challenger Steve Tataii, a conflict resolution consultant. Tataii made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2016.
In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, state Rep. Bob McDermott beat five other candidates.