Mayor’s race: Former Congressman in, former Lt. Gov out
Charles Djou stepped up to file for mayor because of what he sees as mismanagement of rail-- a project not on time, and way over budget.
HONOLULU - Charles Djou stepped up to file for mayor because of what he sees as mismanagement of rail-- a project not on time, and way over budget.
"As mayor I will veto any more tax increases for this project. We have to make rail work with the resources we have, not with the unlimited blank checks that developers and contractors want," said the former Congressman and former Honolulu City Councilman.
Djou stopped short of saying whether he thinks rail should go all the way to Ala Moana.
"I am open to any reasonable alternative that makes rail work and get it back on track with the resources allocated, but no more," said Djou.
The East Honolulu candidate hopes to convince state lawmakers to give all the money collected for rail to the city.
"That state skim is unfair and unreasonable," Djou said.
Djou hopes to capitalize on voter's doubts about rail and has now won the support of former Democratic governor Ben Cayetano, a vocal rail critic. With the mayor out of town, Caldwell’s campaign manager came to his defense.
“The HART board operates a little bit independently from the administration. The mayor has however, taken an aggressive approach to rail and will continue to do that," said Lex Smith.
One big unknown was whether former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona would run for mayor. He pulled papers for three offices and left everyone hanging until late Tuesday afternoon.
Aiona announced on his radio show "808 State" that he considered challenging the mayor because he thought Caldwell was doing a terrible job. Aiona decided to pull back and is now not running for anything. He is endorsing Djou for mayor.