Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa says he will run for lieutenant governor in 2018.
Arakawa announced his candidacy during Hawaii News Now’s “Sunrise” news program Friday. Arakawa, 65, has served as Maui County mayor from 2002 to 2006 and was re-elected in 2011 and 2014. Arakawa told local media that he had considered retiring, but he sees a great need for better leadership in state government.
He considers the setbacks on the Honolulu rail project as an example of Gov. David Ige’s poor leadership.
“You have to complete the rail whether you like it or not because you’ve already invested so much of the taxpayers’ dollars into it,” he said of the project, at an impasse since state lawmakers could not settle on a funding agreement.
Arakawa told the Maui News that he considers homelessness and state hospital funding as two issues that need to be addressed.
It is not clear what party Arakawa will run under in 2018. The mayoral position he holds is nonpartisan.
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui has said he is pretty certain that he will not seek re-election.