The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers union has endorsed former city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell in the race for Honolulu mayor.
Tenari Maafala, SHOPO president, said the decision came down to Caldwell and former Gov. Ben Cayetano, noting that Mayor Peter Carlisle did not seek an interview with the 1,900-member union.
“Carlisle, thus far, since he made it known publicly that he’s running for mayor again, he has not come and knocked on our door,” Maafala said Tuesday at a news conference. “SHOPO has always been an open-door policy. If you want our endorsement, you come and knock on our door and then we’ll set up an interview.”
He said the union decided against Cayetano because of his over emphasis on stopping the city’s rail transit project.
“That appears to be the primary focus,” Maafala said. “We want somebody that’s going to focus on the needs of the people of Honolulu and that’s what Mr. Caldwell is all about. Mr. Caldwell recognizes that police — public safety — is of utmost importance.”