As longtime Democrats, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Sen. David Ige largely share the same vision when it comes to things like public worker pay raises, transportation and agriculture.
Click here to watch Andrew Pereira's report.
However, there are some stark differences between the two leading candidates for Hawaii's Democratic nomination for governor. Perhaps the most obvious is personality. Abercrombie is Boisterous and outgoing, while Ige is analytical and reserved.
On Wednesday, both men outlined their vision for the next four years should they be elected in November. Abercrombie calls his plan "Charting Tomorrow: A plan for a brighter future in Hawaii," while Ige, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, has dubbed his proposal "Engineering Hawaii's Future."
KITV4 asked both candidates about their differing personalities and whether they could convince state lawmakers to see things their way.
"I think that that's probably my biggest strength is the relationships I have with the House and Senate members," said Ige. "I think they know that I am one who's more interested in doing good, than looking good and I think everybody respects that."
Abercrombie fielded the question by pointing to several children who were sharing the stage and alluded to his support for pre-school education.
"I see myself going forward with these young people right here," said the governor. "I want to put smiles on their faces because they know that they have a governor who has their interests at heart."
In his plan, the governor touts a $1 billion turnaround in Hawaii's economy, while Ige wants voters to know he was responsible for cutting the governor's spending proposals by the exact same amount.
"It really is about what the priorities are," Ige told reporters. "Building the economy is a priority of this administration."
Abercrombie said his "Charting Tomorrow" proposal dovetails on his "New Day in Hawaii" plan that he touted during his first gubernatorial run in 2010. New Day was largely focused on sustainability for future generations, restoring public confidence in government, and education and the economy,
"We now have the solid financial foundation upon which to build for the future and this chart, this guidebook for tomorrow is precisely that," said the governor.
Another area where the two candidates differentiate themselves is President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, which led to the creation of the Hawaii Health Connector, an online health insurance marketplace that has been beset with computer glitches and low enrollment. Ige said Hawaii should not have followed all of the mandates of ACA, while Abercrombie is a staunch supporter.
"Some of those provisions are going to be a disaster for our business community, for example, the rating of insurance policies by age," said Ige. "I have talked to many, many businesses and they will see significant increase to their insurance cost and that's a time bomb ticking for our business community."
When asked about additional legislative funding for the Health Connector, Abercrombie had a one sentence response, saying "It's always good to review whatever you've done to see whether it's working."
How the two competing plans were presented to reporters also provides glaring evidence of the tremendous fundraising advantage enjoyed by Abercrombie. The governor has raised $4.3 million for his re-election campaign, compared to Ige's $322,000. Abercrombie's proposal is highlighted by color photographs and charts, while Ige's is in plain text.
For a link to Abercrombie's Charting Tomorrow plan, click here: http://neilabercrombie.com/charting-tomorrow-plan-for-hawaii/
For a link to Ige's Engineering Hawaii's future proposal, click here: http://www.davidige.org/action-plan/