So yesterday a friend of mine on Facebook posted that Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa had just said on his radio show on 105.5 FM that in 2018 he would run for the office of Hawaii Lieutenant Governor. We’d been hearing rumors here and there for some time that Arakawa wouldn’t actually retire when he’s termed out in 2018, but would seek higher office. We (and others) had thought he’d take a shot at the Governor’s office, but running for LG makes a bit of sense because the current Lt. Gov, Shan Tsutsui, has all but announced that he will return to Maui and run for Mayor in 2018 (this April 7 Maui News story quotes Tsutsui as saying he’s “pretty certain” that he’ll run for Mayor).
Of course, if Arakawa does run, he might have to make a few adjustments to the old demeanor. He’s gonna have to stop saying “Bullshit!” during Maui County Council meetings. He also might want to stop randomly denouncing “sacred rocks,” which only serves to antagonize Native Hawaiian activists.
Still, we didn’t actually listen to the Tuesday morning radio show ourselves, so we can’t really be sure if Arakawa had actually announced his intention to run. So we contacted Maui County Communications Director Rod Antone, but he refused to comment because it’s an election-related matter.
We then scoured the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission website to see if Arakawa’s campaign had filed papers to run, but found nothing.
Given that Arakawa apparently hasn’t even set up a campaign yet, and his most recent campaign finance statement ended on Dec. 31, 2016, we decided to ask Arakawa himself. So last night, we texted Arakawa, asking if he would, in fact, run for Hawaii Lieutenant Governor in 2018. He didn’t respond until this morning, and then he used just one word:
It’s going to be a long campaign.
Photo of Mayor Alan Arakawa courtesy County of Maui