Hawaii's packed lieutenant governor race brings together a mixed bag of candidates. One of them is currently mayor of Kaua'i County.

Bernard Carvalho has held the county's top seat since 2008. A job he didn't see coming.
But things changed when his boss and mentor Mayor Bryan Baptiste died suddenly while in office.  

"The family came to me and said if I would run and I said, 'Wait, I wasn't planning on running,' but to carry-on,'" said Carvalho.

His roots run deep on the Garden Isle, born and raised, the eldest of four children. A star athlete, playing with the Miami Dolphins for two seasons.

When football ended, he felt the pull of home. Carvalho says incorporating Hawaiian values is the secret to his success.  
He asks staff members to apply concepts from the ancient net casting practice of hukilau to their everyday approach.

"You lay your thoughts or ideas. You ask questions. You hear the pulse of the people and then you pull all of that in. You assemble all of the information. You surround yourself with good people who are going to help and support you in getting information out and you shareback," Carvalho explained.


His leadership put to the test during April's record breaking rains. Carvalho says this is when having connections paid off.

"All boils down to relationships. If I pick up the phone and call congresswoman and congressman or senator and say, 'Standby, I'm going to need your help.' I can call the military base and say, 'Captain, I need your help man.' Call, Bruce Robinson, 'I need your barge because I got a barge supplies in, not to Ni`ihau but down to Hanalei.'"

Carvalho says his ability to connect will work at the state's highest levels.

"I can work with any governor. Whoever is governor, we going to work it! But the lieutenant governor's office- I want to bring value to that office. I want to bring aloha spirit to that office. I want to be the connection. I want to be the bridge," Carvalho explained.