PUHI — Mochi making, a traditional New Year’s practice, got in the way of the first visit by Gov. David Ige and his family to Kauai since being elected governor in early November.
“There should be more people here,” said Mary Thronas, longtime political official and a Kauai Living Treasure.
“Unfortunately, I think everyone is making mochi today.”
About 200 people greeted the governor and First Lady Dawn Ige, who said the past few weeks have been hectic, but there have been opportunities for reflection.
“I remember our first Neighbor Island meeting of the campaign,” she said. “It was on Kauai where we met so many people who offered us advice and encouragement. Kauai is a new beginning for us. It was where we spent our honeymoon, and has always been a very special place for us.”
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said he has been speaking with the governor since Ige was sworn in as Hawaii’s newest governor.
“He’s got a leadership style which is quiet and effective,” Carvalho said. “He wants to reach out in collaboration and not forget the Neighbor Islands. He wants to work together to move the state forward. I feel good about the support he has in this room.”
Ige noted a big difference between campaigning and governing is being able to enjoy the food.
“It’s wonderful to be back,” the governor said.
“This is a difficult, yet exciting time my life as we have tackled the budget and interviewed so many people to get the best people in place. I’m excited about the cabinet who wants to engage people to move the state forward. I appreciate everyone’s support for giving me the opportunity to serve.”