Greene is an obvious contender on Election Day, but Iona says no one should count him out

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – In Tuesday’s general election, pandemic- and inflation-weary Hawaii voters will choose who they want to lead the state – the current lieutenant governor or the former governor.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a Democrat, is an established challenger heading into the final hours of voting.


But former Gov. James “The Duke” Iona, a Republican, says no one should be counting on him now.

“People are really, really upset … and they want change,” Ayona told Hawaii News Now. “A lot of Democrats are whispering, ‘I voted for you.’ I voted for you'”.

However, dethroning Green would be a huge upset.

The lieutenant governor won the Democratic nomination for governor with a landslide victory in the August primary, beating challengers Vicky Cayetano and Kai Kahele.

The victory marked the final milestone in his nearly 20-year career on the Hawaii political scene.

Green’s running mate, Sylvia Luke, has also dropped out of contention despite Super PAC money fueling attack campaigns. Some of these ads came from the Carpenters Union, which supports its partner on the ticket.

Green says they have reviewed the situation and are ready to move forward.

SPECIAL SECTION: Election 2022

On the Republican side, it was also a whirlwind for Aiona.

The Republican entered the race at the last minute and submitted his documents by June 7.

Although Ayona’s campaign was short, she is more confident in the seat than in previous years. This election is the third time Duke Iona is running for governor.

Part of what prompted him to throw his hat back into the ring, he says, is the recent spate of corruption scandals. Ayona says the energy this election season is reminiscent of the atmosphere 20 years ago.

“People hate it.”

Ayona is no stranger to the gubernatorial campaign. In 2010, he lost a bid to Neil Abercrombie. Iona secured the Republican nomination for the second time in 2014 – against David Ige.

When asked by HNN how he handled the campaign, Ayona replied: “It was more for me. I was doing more retail politics, retail politics which meant person to person. I did a lot more than before. “.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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