Candidate claims she wasn't invited to final TV debate
At the KITV 4 gubernatorial debate, we invited Republican and democratic candidates for governor and Lt. Governor, but not all of them showed up.
Just days before the general election, a debate no-show highlights key differences between two teams running for Hawaii's top jobs.
At the KITV4 Gubernatorial Debate, we invited Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor, but not all of them showed up.
The last televised debate before the general election, was supposed to give candidates a final chance to get their message out to voters, but one candidate says her own running mate never told her about it.
Among the many differences showcased in the KITV4 debate was the candidates relationship with their running mate.
On one hand, you have incumbent Democratic Governor David Ige, along with long time Senator Dr. Josh Green.
"We've worked together in the Senate for six year and have worked together on a lot of different issues and crisis," Green said.
On the Republican side, there was only Gubernatorial candidate Andria Tupola, as Lt. Governor candidate Marissa Kerns didn't show up.
A miscommunication according to Tupola, that the team doesn't want to focus on.
"I spoke to her after the debate and the clarity on what teams were communicated to, but going forward we are focusing on the people and being vocal for the people of Hawaii," said Tupola.
But Kerns said she was never told by Tupola she was also included in the debate.
"She never sent me an email or told me, 'You are part of the debate.' We were even at an event together the other night, if she would have just said, 'Hey here's all the emails' that would have been the right thing to do. So I was really shocked, and it is completely humiliating," added Kerns.
Still, she has no hard feelings toward Tupola, because Kerns is instead focusing her ire over Democratic leadership, and what she feels needs to be done for Hawaii.
"This is what happened with Tupola, it will pass. I am strong. I can lead, she can lead. I won't put her down, instead it is Ige who must go. We don't want Democrats anymore, we are tired of them treating us like slaves," added Kerns.
Kerns has been an outspoken critic of Hawaii's current leaders, but she has also criticized Tupola. Tupola stated instead of those remarks causing discord, it actually helps everyone.
"I think it is a good thing, people keep looking at it as some type of discussion about unity but unity is built through dissension. When you have different people you are able to pull together people from different walks of life," stated Tupola.
"It was a unfortunate that Marissa wasn't there, because she brings a real brand of our party to bear," stated Hawaii Republican Party Chair Shirlene Ostrov.
Kerns is just one of the large number of Republican candidates who are women, vying for elected office.
"They happen to be women, mothers, wives, business owners, all people who are passionate about their communities and they come from all walks of life," added Ostrov.
For those who don't know about Kerns, she has been a Hawaii businesswoman for the past three decades and is passionate about making the state a better place. She wants to do that, by making radial changes to the political landscape.
"It is a lot of big issues that Ige and Josh Green and the Democrats haven't done for our state. I want to reverse laws and taxes. I want to reform a lot of stuff, just like President Trump, he is doing the right thing for a lot of people," said Kerns.
Republicans were planning an event Tuesday evening to help rally voters, until the weather put a damper on it.
Both Tupola and Kerns said they will be out in the community separately and together over the next seven days, to get their message out before the general election.