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Former state Sen. John Carroll announces run for Honolulu mayor, while Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson drops out

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GEORGE F. LEE / 2017

Honolulu City Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson met with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Editorial Board to discuss funding HART rail. Anderson confirmed to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he no longer intends to run for the mayor’s seat.

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Former state Sen. John Carroll speaks during a 2018 gubernatorial candidate forum. Carroll is running for mayor of City and County of Honolulu.

One person is in and another one is out for the 2020 mayoral campaign to replace Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Former state Sen. John Carroll, 89, announced he has registered with the state Campaign Spending Commission and intends to file nomination papers to run for mayor of the City and County of Honolulu to replace Caldwell.

Meanwhile, Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson, 41, confirmed that he no longer intends to run for the mayor’s seat. Anderson, who has been on the Council since 2009, announced his intentions to form an exploratory committee in late 2017 and subsequently registered with the commission as a mayoral candidate.

Carroll, who announced his candidacy Friday evening, said he plans to shut down the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and end the city’s over-budget $9.2 billion rail project, which he called “the rail to nowhere.”

“I’m running because of the failed leadership in the state,” Carroll told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today. “The business with rail is totally out of control. We need to get a forensic audit and we need to halt the rail until we know what we’re doing with it to get it finished properly.”

Caldwell recently said he was optimistic that a recovery plan for the rail project would be approved following a meeting with federal officials in Washington, D.C. Caldwell cannot run for re-election in 2020 as he has served the maximum two consecutive four-year terms.

If elected, Carroll said he plans to grow the state’s economy by reducing taxes and government over-regulation.

“Our next mayor must make Honolulu affordable for Honolulu families once again,” Carroll said in a written announcement. “It will no longer be necessary to relocate to Las Vegas or other mainland cities to be able to buy a home and raise a family!”

Carroll served four terms as a state House member and one term as a state Senator. Carroll previously ran for governor but was defeated by Andria Tupola in the Republican primary in August 2018.

Meanwhile, Anderson said that after some contemplation, he concluded becoming mayor would require him to spend too much time away from his family. Anderson and his wife, Lisa, have four children between the ages of 17 and nine. They live on the same property as his grandparents.

“There is no magic ‘pause’ button to press allowing me to seek an elected executive office while not losing valuable time with my children and my grandparents,” Anderson said.

He also pointed out that he became Council chairman last month and that he does not believe it appropriate to use that position to advance a mayoral campaign.

“We have built a solid team and made significant progress in fundraising in comparison to other potential mayor candidates, and there is no doubt our team could wage a successful campaign,” he said.

Anderson’s second, full, four-year term is up in 2020 and, like Caldwell, he is barred from running for a third, consecutive term.

City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine also is intending to run for mayor next year.

The four-year term runs from January 2021 to January 2025.

June 2, 2020 is the deadline to file nomination papers for the primary election. Interested candidates for the mayoral race must be at least 30 years old and be a registered Oahu voter.

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