One of the four gubernatorial candidates has withdrawn from an Oahu forum scheduled for Friday.
Democratic nominee Sen. David Ige released a statement saying he was unaware of the guidelines from the hosting organization to videotape the event and distribute as they found fit. Ige is concerned with statements being taken out of context, especially during the political season.
The organizer of the event, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, released a statement.
"The Institute had made clear what the terms of the forum were, including the intended audio broadcasting and video recording, and these were agreed to by the Ige campaign," said Grassroot Institute Communications Director Justin Martin. "The last minute withdrawal was a surprise. It is disappointing that the Ige campaign made a unilateral decision to withdraw without even stating its concerns or giving us the opportunity to accommodate them, which we would have."
Pat Saiki, State Chair of the Hawaii Republican Party, also released a statement.
"When the public was finally afforded a chance to hear from all of the gubernatorial candidates, it's a pity that Ige backed out because he wanted complete control over the interpretation of his messaging," said Saiki. "Is this the quality of transparency and openness we can expect to see from the Democrat candidate?"
The Grassroot Institute says the other gubernatorial candidates -- Republican Duke Aiona; Libertarian Jeff Davis and Independent Mufi Hannemann will still participate in the forum.