When I heard my friend and Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. was running for Lt. Governor I was somewhat in shock. Coconut wireless had spread rumor for the last nine months that our mayor would be running for the highest political office in the state, the governor!
Many of us hid behind our Eccedentesiast botox smiles when we heard Mayor Carvalho was not running for governor and congratulated him none the less when the big day arrived when every major news outlet in the state announced that our leader with support of his family had decided to run for Lt. Governor in lieu of seeking the governorship. A disappointment for many of Carvalho’s avid supporters since they were expecting him to run for governor, not Lt. Governor.
The Lt. Governor basically does very little unless something happens to the governor. The governor can send the Lt. Governor to attend funerals and other functions that the governor doesn’t wish to attend. The Lt. Governor is similar but less stature than the vice president, however it is someone that the governor should like and be able to get along with especially in times of crisis.
Why does Hawaii elect a Lt. Governor and not allow the governor to choose a running mate as does the president? Imagine if we voted separate for a vice president aside from the president? Donald Trump could’ve wound up with Pocahontas (Elizabeth Warren a Democrat and arch rival) as his VP.
Twenty-five states including Hawaii hold separate elections for the Lt. Governor and in those cases a Lt. Governor can be from an opposing political party and 18 states have the governor choose a running mate Lt. Governor similar to the way a president chooses a running mate vice president. (This method seems more logical and makes more sense to me.) The remainder seven states do not have a Lt. Governor but rather a process should the Governor become disabled.
It’s high time the governor and Lt. Governor run as one, on the same ticket in Hawaii. I still believe Bernard Carvalho Jr. can defeat Gov. David Ige and his major opponent, Colleen Hanabusa. It’s not too late to change.
The race for Lt. Governor is crowded and at one time Mayor Carvalho wanted to work with a few of the candidates he is now running against whom include but is not limited to, State Sen. Josh Green, State Sen. Will Espero, Mayor Alan Arakawa, State Sen. Jill Tokuda and new to the race Kim Coco Iwamoto. Current Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui doesn’t plan to run for re-election.
Many career politicians are vying for the job of Lt. Governor even though it’s been charactectured and lampooned as a title with little or no real power because they look at it as a stepping stone to be governor someday.
I believe Bernard Carvalho Jr. has a better chance at winning the governor’s race than the crowded Lt. Governor’s race, and not only that I believe his style of government, aloha and kokua in helping others for their benefit and not for personal gain would be welcomed in these chaotic times. I also believe a Lt. Governor should be chosen by those running for governor and not by running on an independent ticket.
James “Kimo” Rosen is a resident of Kapaa.