LIHUE — Gov. David Ige plans on pushing his administration’s accomplishments to the forefront of his campaign over the next four or five months, saying he’s been “too humble” about his successes.
That’s a day after results from a Star-Advertiser poll were released, showing candidate and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa leading the governor by 20 percentage points in the Democratic primary.
“The poll was taken very early and is a snapshot in time,” Ige said Monday afternoon. “The truth of matter is that I’ve been working hard over the past three and a half years and I have been focused on making many positive changes. I may have been too humble and didn’t tell the story of my administration’s success — and there have been many.”
Both the governor and Hanabusa are focused on things like education, affordable housing and homelessness, transportation, energy, and environment, and both tout the need for leadership to create and maintain a great state of Hawaii.
Ige said he demonstrates his leadership through investments in classrooms through pay raises for educators and has cooled more than 1,200 classrooms statewide. In his 2018 State of the State address, he also focused on his request for $100 million to produce more affordable homes across the state.
“It has been my firm belief that the state must remain committed to developing and delivering Hawaiian homelands to beneficiaries. In 2016, we provided $24 million in funding to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands,” he said in the speech.
In a statement to TGI on Monday, Ige said: “We have dramatically increased affordable housing, we have a much stronger economy, an improved educational system, we have the strictest gun laws in the nation, and we are protecting the environment. I have made Hawaii a better place by doing the right things for the right reasons and I am clearly the better candidate to lead our state.”
But Hanabusa says leadership is lacking at the Hawaii capitol and she has innovative ideas, as well as the expertise to back them up.
“I think it’s clear this election is really about one thing: leadership. This is what we’ve been hearing consistently across the state since last fall – that the people of Hawaii desire strong leadership, a clear vision for the future, and the experience to execute,” Hanabusa said.
She expressed thankfulness at the results of the survey, which showed 47 percent of likely Democratic voters say they would vote for Hanabusa if the election were held today. The poll also shows strong favorability ratings for Hanabusa.
“I am humbled so many hard-working community members across the Islands are saying they are willing to put their confidence in me. I can only return that confidence by pledging to listen, make informed decisions, and work hard with a sense of urgency to tackle the tough issues that have afflicted our state for far too long,” Hanabusa said.
Both Hanabusa and Ige acknowledged that they have a long road head of them until the August primaries, and both said they’re committed to the communities in Hawaii.
“I know we have a case to make and I intend to do just that,” Ige said. “We are working hard and have more than four months ahead of us. When we have had the opportunity to reach out to our citizens about our long list of accomplishments, I am confident voters will choose to re-elect me.”
Hanabusa said she’s confident as well, and is “committed to serving our community, and helping shape the future our people deserve.”