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Green pledges to ‘lead Hawaii forward’ after decisive primary win in Democratic race for governor

Honolulu KHNL logo Honolulu KHNL 8/15/2022 HNN Staff
Lt. Gov. Josh Green has secured the Democratic nomination for governor. © Provided by Honolulu KHNL Lt. Gov. Josh Green has secured the Democratic nomination for governor.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A visibly moved Lt. Gov. Josh Green thanked his supporters and pledged to “lead Hawaii forward” Saturday after a decisive Democratic primary election win in the Democratic race for governor.

“Today is a special day,” Green said, holding back tears as he addressed his election night supporters. “We will win the governorship and we will lead Hawaii forward.”

After the final printout Sunday, Green secured more than 60% of the vote and will face former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona in November. Vicky Cayetano was in second place, with about 20% of voters, while Kai Kahele rounded out the top three.

Speaking to HNN, Cayetano applauded those who backed her campaign.

“I think it’s time to congratulate Lt. Gov. Green,” she said, adding she is proud to have run a mostly self-funded campaign. “I love the state of Hawaii.”

Kahele declined to speak to the media Saturday, but did tweet “Mahalo Hawaii. I love you.”

[SPECIAL SECTION: Election 2022]

Green entered the primary election Saturday with a commanding lead — despite a bruising primary election battle.

In July, voters were able to hear from the three Democratic contenders on the HNN Super Debate stage. Throughout the evening, there were fiery exchanges between the candidates ― but there was also no shortage of common ground. All three identified the dearth of affordable housing and the high cost of living as key issues.

Cayetano has gone so far as to say an emergency declaration is needed to address the housing crisis. Kahele, meanwhile, has said he’d target outside investment as a way to bring prices down. And Green said he would help address inflation and the high cost of living by doing away with the excise tax on food and health care.

CONTINUING COVERAGE:

In late July, Cayetano and Kahele raised eyebrows when they held a joint news conference to resume their questioning of Green’s financial records. Green responded by saying he has nothing to hide.

Political analyst Colin Moore called the media briefing “strange.”

“It probably also demonstrates just how far the lieutenant governor is in the lead that his two opponents would share a stage like that,” Moore said.

Hawaii’s next governor will take office at a pivotal time in the state’s history.

Hawaii’s economy is rebounding from the pandemic, but significant challenge lie ahead ― from the skyrocketing cost of living to the dearth of affordable housing.

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

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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