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Sen. David Ige announces candidacy for governor

By B.J. Reyes

LAST UPDATED: 01:31 a.m. HST, Jul 10, 2013

State Sen David Ige, a 27-year veteran of the Legislature and chairman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee the past two years,  announced he would challenge Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary for governor.

“As my family and I contemplated whether to run for Governor, we spoke with many friends and neighbors. Through those conversations, I realized that people here in Hawaii are hungry for a governor they can believe in and trust,” Ige (D, Pearl Harbor-Pearl City-Aiea) said in a news release. “The citizens of Hawaii continue to face serious issues. 

“We need to strengthen and diversify our economy, improve education, and re-engineer government to better serve the people. It is time for real and enduring solutions to ensure that we are taking the right steps to create opportunities for our children and future generations.”

William Kaneko, Abercrombie's campaign manager, welcomed Ige into the race.

"Voters will have an opportunity to hear and evaluate both candidates' respective legislative and executive experiences, track records and philosophies. Elections are all about choices. That is the democratic process, and voters will have a chance to engage with the candidates on critical issues that face all of us," Kaneko said in a statement.

"Under Gov. Abercrombie's strong leadership, the state's fiscal situation is stabilized, the economy is growing, and the residents of Hawaii are enjoying a period of prosperity and optimism. He has brought in and supported a new generation of political leadership in Hawaii, and we are fully committed to his reelection in 2014." 

Ige, 56, has represented the Pearl City-Aiea Senate district since 1994, after previously serving eight years in the state House of Representatives.

As of December, Ige had reported raising $73,750 for his 2014 Senate campaign and reported in April that he was holding a May fundraiser also for Senate. Abercrombie already has raised $1.3 million for his re-election bid.

Prior to his stint as ways and means chairman, Ige served previously as Majority Floor Leader and chairman other Senate committees including health; intergovernmental affairs; science, arts and technology; economic development and technology; education and technology; commerce, consumer protection and information technology; and higher education, culture and the arts.

Ige also serves as a member of several advisory councils including the Hawaii Educational Networking Consortium; Waimano Ridge Task Force; Access Hawaii Committee Board; Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant Working Group; and, the Aiea/Pearl City Neighborhood Transit-Oriented Development Plan Advisory Committee, according to a biography on his state legislative web page.

Ige and his wife, Dawn, have three children. He is a graduate of Pearl City High School with graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Hawaii.

Richard Borreca contributed to this report.

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palani wrote:
Iggy Pop?
on July 9,2013 | 09:45AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Let the games begin.....dump Abercrombie......
on July 9,2013 | 09:48AM
Sunny wrote:
I will vote for you!
on July 9,2013 | 09:48AM
allie wrote:
interesting..but I think Neil has the big advantage at this stage
on July 9,2013 | 09:49AM
control wrote:
Actually Neil's actions give Ige a good chance to win, especially since Neil lost many of his supporters by what he has been doing the last 3 years.
on July 9,2013 | 09:57AM
noshortcuts wrote:
Wow! Where have you been????
on July 9,2013 | 10:10AM
mitt_grund wrote:
This will be a measure of the remaining clout of Japanese Americans who were part of or came out of the successful taking of political power by the returning members of the 100th and 442nd who formed powerful alliances to take control of the Democratic Party in the late 40's and early 50's to defeat the Big Five Republicans. Probably it will be a runaway for Abercrombie as Japanese now constitute only 17.5% of Hawaii's population, Hawaiian/Part Hawaiian, at 24.3%, is the largest percentage. These top two are followed by Caucasian - 20.4%, Mixed (other than part-Hawaiian)-20.1%, Filipino - 11.8%, Chinese - 3.8%, other ethnicities are under 1%. So, basically since no group is a majority, it makes an election based solely on ethnic appeal highly unlikely. However, this doesn't mean that ethnicity won't affect the election. There will be appeals by both candidates to ethnic groups. There is no getting past that. The ads in media that cater to specific ethnic audiences bear proof of that. Whoever is able to assemble the best set of appeals to Hawaii's varied ethnicities will win. In that category, Abercrombie has already demonstrated his ability to do so. The only factor that remains a possible pivotal point is how much Abercrombie's fascistic behavior has affected his standing among these groups. David Ige should have his advisors and campaign staff look at that, and move accordingly. Find out where the dissatisfaction exists, amplify it, and get the word out.
on July 9,2013 | 12:30PM
false wrote:
David Ige? Never say never. You never know.
on July 9,2013 | 03:04PM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
r u from Hawaii or somewhere else?
on July 9,2013 | 01:24PM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
This was meant for Ally.
on July 9,2013 | 01:41PM
allie wrote:
Mandan huntress from North Dakota
on July 9,2013 | 02:35PM
false wrote:
Yes show some respect to the Princess of the Hekawi tribe of N.D.
on July 9,2013 | 03:11PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Like Peter Carlisle, Abercrombie is fumbling himself out of office. Let's vote wisely next time.
on July 9,2013 | 01:49PM
false wrote:
Why? We didn't do it in 2012. I get it let's NOW vote wisely. You're right.
on July 9,2013 | 03:13PM
inverse wrote:
I just got three questions for this candidate:
1) What is his view on same se x marriges?
2) What is his view on abortion?
3) What does he think about the nickname "Rainbows" for the UH athletic teams?
on July 9,2013 | 09:53AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Public positions: Marriage equality: Supports it. Abortion: Pro-Choice. Nickname: Couldn't find an answer to that one.
on July 9,2013 | 10:25AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Well that about covers all the really important stuff.
on July 9,2013 | 10:27AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Nah, he/she left out fireworks.
on July 9,2013 | 10:37AM
false wrote:
Wait, who does a better shaka?
on July 9,2013 | 03:13PM
wiliki wrote:
As an engineer, doesn't he think that the UH College of Engineering is too small to provide technological leadership to diversify our economy?
on July 9,2013 | 10:34AM
mitt_grund wrote:
To some, these are probably the only issues. To me, it's which one will curb government spending and get back to basic governmental responsibilities, not frittering money away on sweet deals for cronies and freebies for deadbeats. Frankly, both have the same basic Democratic positions. However, my personal perception of Sen. David Ige is not abrasive a la Neil, is soft-spoken, and thinks before he speaks. I can't say that about Abercrombie, and I supported the guy over the greater evil of Mufi (Mufi is still the greater evil.)
on July 9,2013 | 12:51PM
control wrote:
Finally, someone to run against Neil. The guy is so unpopular now, even buu laia has chance against him. The problem is that neil alienated many that supported him, the unions (I'm not your friend!), environmental people, north shore people, sports people (for his non support for the pro bowl), elderly for wanting to tax them more, his new views favoring overdevelopment of kakaako, this neil wasn't the one that supporters voted for. The republicans would have had a good chance with a viable candidate but they are even more incompetent. they will probably have "I am not a career politician" duke aiona running but he really isn't a viable candidate for gov.
on July 9,2013 | 09:55AM
allie wrote:
agree..Republicans out here are bad jokes, We need another party to develop some brains and courage
on July 9,2013 | 10:11AM
copperwire9 wrote:
We need you to hush. "Out here" we need you to hush.
on July 9,2013 | 10:29AM
mitt_grund wrote:
What would life be without allie? BTW, are we all stay-at-homes, or are some of us doing this stuff on work time?
on July 9,2013 | 01:01PM
allie wrote:
I use smart phone. I often comment in class while also taking notes! I am a high IQ multi-tasker!
on July 9,2013 | 02:36PM
DAGR81 wrote:
You are ignorant but too foolish to know it.
on July 9,2013 | 04:37PM
allie wrote:
Not what I am told by my adoring profs!
on July 10,2013 | 07:38AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Amen. Well said.
on July 9,2013 | 01:01PM
ericryan808 wrote:
So much for supposed "Democrat Unity". Ambitious politicians, maneuvering factions, questionable agendas. Now, the remaining question for Election 2014 is whether the party of Lingle has built a bench of strong, credible candidates during the past decade. Sadly for voters who deserve strong competition for their votes, it's a pretty sorry, forgettable grabbag of nothing from the Hawaii GOP; with Republicans having nobody to take on the intellectual lightweights who govern our state. With a primary election like Abercrombie v. Ige, the ballot question becomes "Should Hawaii remain liberal or should Hawaii become even MORE liberal?"
on July 9,2013 | 09:56AM
false wrote:
Frank DeLima for Gov. - Augie T for Lt. Gov. -
on July 9,2013 | 10:21AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
I suspect they would probably beat whoever the Republicans run.
on July 9,2013 | 10:25AM
DAGR81 wrote:
Augie T and Uncle Mel
on July 9,2013 | 02:40PM
cojef wrote:
Where is his money? Abbie has over a million bucks. Must have union connections.
on July 9,2013 | 10:29AM
wiliki wrote:
Bad decision.... Ige would do better to run for Hanabusa's old job.as House rep. He probably thinks that he wont have a good chance against Tsutsui in 2018 because of the outer islands, so he wants to run earlier because he thinks that Abercrombie is vulnerable.
on July 9,2013 | 10:31AM
false wrote:
That might not be a bad idea. Run for house rep that is.
on July 9,2013 | 03:17PM
DAGR81 wrote:
We should all take pause and find out what his positions are on dealing with our economy and the rising cost of state government.
on July 9,2013 | 10:35AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Hopefully he will update his website to cover those issues. Right now it is aimed at his 2012 run for office.
on July 9,2013 | 10:39AM
Nikaikid wrote:
The best news so far. Senator Ige is trustworthy, a man of integrity. He'll do well for the people of our state. Another reason to rid of some agency heads like Aila and a few others. Thanks Senator, you'll do well.
on July 9,2013 | 10:48AM
false wrote:
Gee with those qualities he won't last a second term. LOL Nah, he's a good man. Fair and grounded. I just hope that after being the Way and Means Chair he has come to realize that there are too many public employees and programs on the payroll that are not worth keeping on.
on July 9,2013 | 03:20PM
tmsaloha wrote:
AWESOME News. A soft spoken man of character, (refreshing at Washington Place 2), a public high school grad (Pearl City) and a no-nonsense gentleman who stands up for the little guys and has a long view of progress needed for education including our University and for Health Care. Who's his campaign chairman? Where can I send a small check? How do I get a tee shirt? YESSSSS!!!!!!
on July 9,2013 | 11:04AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I agree. Where can I get my t-shirt?
on July 9,2013 | 11:26AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Kana'iolowalu. You're close enough.
on July 9,2013 | 12:40PM
allie wrote:
sounds good!
on July 9,2013 | 02:37PM
false wrote:
Political banner should read: HOME GROWN
on July 9,2013 | 03:21PM
Skyler wrote:
Abercromble's would read: MAUI WOWIE
on July 9,2013 | 06:41PM
Beautiful_Day wrote:
I have been a life long resident of the area. I have seen only MORE traffic, MORE crime and an impending rail system. He wants to better serve the people, he should have started with his district.
on July 9,2013 | 11:25AM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
Anything is better that Neil.
on July 9,2013 | 01:32PM
DAGR81 wrote:
We need Mufi
on July 9,2013 | 04:46PM
Skyler wrote:
Uh, no we don't.
on July 9,2013 | 06:42PM
false wrote:
Who is the bigger spender?
on July 9,2013 | 11:29AM
Manoa_Fisherman wrote:
Paper tiger, token opposition so Abercrombie can justify raising money for his campaign.
on July 9,2013 | 11:37AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Don't waste your time or money!
on July 9,2013 | 11:39AM
retire wrote:
And another robo-call season begins...
on July 9,2013 | 11:41AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
on July 9,2013 | 11:46AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Ahhh, okay den.
on July 9,2013 | 11:48AM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Best to you and your supporters. Your decision makes the Governor's race very interesting.
on July 9,2013 | 12:02PM
kennysmith wrote:
he will not KEEP HIS WORD TO YOU PEOPLE OF HONOLULU HI OR WAIKIKI AREA you all need to ask him about put in low cost rent and have rent control there if he is going in to that office?.
on July 9,2013 | 12:09PM
fiveo wrote:
Finally, someone else to vote for other than the midget.
on July 9,2013 | 12:28PM
islandboy1562 wrote:
Ige will give Abercrombie all that he can handle - just because he has the dollars doesn't mean he'll win. Abercrombie will have to overcome his past high visibility PR mistakes and in essence needs to "rewrite history" to beat Ige. It's all about good strategic campaigning and the use of the campaign money and how it translates into votes that matter. Look what happened to the MUFI!
on July 9,2013 | 12:42PM
false wrote:
Mufi was his worst enemy and took wrong advice.
on July 9,2013 | 03:42PM
inverse wrote:
Money is what wins elections and gets people to drink the kool aid.
on July 10,2013 | 01:26AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Dark horse. So dark that he has to smile to be seen at night. No money. It would appear his best chance is to build up the ABA - "Anybody But Abercrombie" - segment. Lots of folks are not fans of Neil so maybe he could get some traction but it's a tough slog without cash and the unions. Perhaps he could find a lost letter from Inouye asking voters to support him.
on July 9,2013 | 12:43PM
loquaciousone wrote:
I was going to write in Frank Delima if no one else came to the dance.
on July 9,2013 | 01:31PM
false wrote:
You always have some great ones! But no need to write call 422-2222.
on July 9,2013 | 03:46PM
false wrote:
If the Gov. can do some major PR and fix some of the past damage that may be enough to push him over. If not, it could be curtains.
on July 9,2013 | 03:46PM
Sat wrote:
Wonderful! Finally a person of great personal and political integrity to take over the reigns of the governor's office and provide the stewardship that Hawaii's people hunger for. Sen. Ige certainly has my vote and hopefully the rest of my family. I will certainly ask them to give Sen. Ige their support.
on July 9,2013 | 12:53PM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
He has mine also. I work for the Department of Education and now a days it is not what you know it is who you know. What a shame. It all start from the CAS down to the Principal's. They all hire who they know. I could write a book regarding the State and I'm sure there are other people who would agree with me. Your name is on a list for a position and you are of that bargaining union but the school hires someone out of the bargaining union. I need to have a talk with our new governor. I have seen so many things go on that I don't like it and it even happened to me. Try be a SASA trying to get a promotion and they hire a clerk who knows nothing- just because they TA at their school. I need to get the new governor together along with the media and give them all the name of the schools that do this. Can you imagine your child's education when these things are happening in the school can you imagine in the classroom.
on July 9,2013 | 01:37PM
allie wrote:
on July 9,2013 | 02:37PM
star08 wrote:
politics of popularity not meritocracy.
on July 9,2013 | 07:18PM
false wrote:
I was getting excited for Frank Delima until I read Ige, He's an ok guy.
on July 9,2013 | 03:47PM
96706 wrote:
Who is he? What has he done for his community?
on July 9,2013 | 01:00PM
false wrote:
Why should that be a deal breaker. Many of these politicians say they did something but never come through after getting elected.
on July 9,2013 | 03:49PM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
I had to question Ally reply. I remember Abrecrombie long ago in the 70's as a hippie down in Waikiki hanging out. I did not vote for him because he doesn't understand Hawaii and it's people. He just provided me correct. I work for the Department of Education and we need someone to take charge of the hiring and our children education. In the Department of Education it is not what you know - it is who you know. It all starts from the CAS who they hire for Principal's down to SASA and they even save positions for who they know. What a shame our State has come to. I could write a book about working for the State - we someone strong. Hope Ige can do the job. I need to talk to him regarding this matter. Our HGEA union is a big joke also. They only want the pay but do nothing.
on July 9,2013 | 01:30PM
inverse wrote:
You are not telling us anything new. Everyone is fully aware of the depth of the problems in the DOE and why the rate of privste school attendance is so high in Hawaii. The only thing stopping more parents from sending their kids to private school is cost.
on July 10,2013 | 01:32AM
alfhawaii wrote:
David who? never heard of him.
on July 9,2013 | 01:38PM
Anonymous wrote:
Ige lacks money but by declaring now, he has the opportunity to reach to old guard AJAs that's still around. Namely Ariyoshi. With Inouye's passing, he is now the "Godfather" of the old-guard Machine. The two factions within the Dems will be battling it out: the Old Guard against Neo-Progessives represented by Abercrombie, Inc.
on July 9,2013 | 01:40PM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
Someone deleted my comments regarding how the Department of Education operates. I hope that Ige will look into all of the favoritism in the department of education and who you know not what you know regarding getting a promotion.
on July 9,2013 | 01:44PM
Skyler wrote:
Sometimes posts go where you don't expect them to. I think it's still there.
on July 9,2013 | 06:45PM
inverse wrote:
ige would never rock the boat and run on the platform of trying to reform the DOE. That would be political sui cide.
on July 10,2013 | 01:36AM
lew4543 wrote:
The people of Hawaii are hungry for a governor they can believe in and trust. You mean to say there is a politician out there that we can believe in and trust ??
on July 9,2013 | 02:25PM
Wonderful_World wrote:
"re-engineer government to better serve the people"=Bigger Government Isn't that what we have in office now?
on July 9,2013 | 02:38PM
false wrote:
Well said. We have such a hugh government work force that is simply not necessary.
on July 9,2013 | 03:50PM
bumba wrote:
No chance. At all. We need to dump Abercrombie but there needs to be a better candidate to go up against him in the primary. Otherwise, a Republican may win in the general. Maybe Duke?
on July 9,2013 | 02:39PM
false wrote:
If a Republican is elected again it will snow in Arizona in the peak of summer.
on July 9,2013 | 03:53PM
inverse wrote:
As false stated Aiona would lose big like Lingle in the last congressional election. Aiona is too wrapped up in trying to outlaw abortions, civil unions or same se x marriage in Hawaii instead of focusing on making gov't fiscally reponsible and address responsible development for Hawaii's future. In his concession speech after losing to Aber, all he talked about was god this and god that. You would think the guy is the ideal camdidate. Part Hawaiian, was a reitred judge, he looks healthy and strong BUT the guy is so wrapped up in religion he is unable to devoid his religious beliefs with being an elected leader and the requirement of our foundation in gov't of separating chirch from state. He might get elected in one of the bible belt states, but thankfully not in Hawaii.
on July 10,2013 | 01:51AM
AmbienDaze wrote:
This is really interesting. Abercromie v. Ige; Schatz v. Hanabusa. Where does Tsutsui fit into the picture? Is Tsutsui's loyalty with Abercrombie? Or with Ige? Inquiring minds want to know.
on July 9,2013 | 03:34PM
CPete wrote:
You can be sure Tsutsui will "keep his nose clean" by saying that he will be a loyal LG who can work with any governor candidate the voters decide on. He would not want to offend any supporters of either side so as not to jeopardize his own candidacy. Isn't that how politicians normally behave? It's always "my own interest first!"
on July 9,2013 | 04:18PM
Skyler wrote:
Ige has a chance... he really does. Impressive resumé - now it's time for everyone to start asking around as far as his character goes. If he is honest, possesses gravitas, and isn't another tool of the unions, he definitely is worth looking at for Governor of Hawaii.
on July 9,2013 | 06:37PM
inverse wrote:
He has no chance, He who has the money wins. Hawaii residents with effective and consistent propaganda can be swayed in the desired direction. PRP in the last election has proven this point.
on July 10,2013 | 01:57AM
HawaiiMongoose wrote:
I know David, he's a good guy. This isn't about 2014, it's about 2018. He'll run a clean respectful campaign and try to make a strong showing against Ambercrombie in the 2014 primary, which will position him well to compete against Tsatsui to succeed Ambercrombie in 2018.
on July 9,2013 | 09:37PM
inverse wrote:
That makes sense and sounds about right. Don't think anyone, either Demo, Repub or whatever at this point in time can defeat Abercrombie. Despite all that has happened, union rank and file will get their wages back or even a raise and that placates the beast that controls all of Hawaii. That is all that matters and will go through the motions of holding an election but in the end Aber will get his second term as governor.
on July 10,2013 | 02:05AM
DAGR81 wrote:
He seems like a nice decent person, but is he capable of being our next governor?
on July 9,2013 | 11:25PM
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