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IT’S TRUE! Ben IS Running for Mayor

IT'S TRUE! Ben IS Running for Mayor

KHON2 Story

Mahalo to Andrew Pereira, KHON2 for the following article on Cayetano for Mayor!
See the Video Clip that accompanies the following article which appeared on 1/19/2012:

“HONOLULU-  The race for Honolulu mayor got a lot more interesting Thursday after former Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano ended weeks of speculation and announced he’s entering the race.

Cayetano, who served as governor from 1994 to 2002, said he was leaving retirement because of his growing concern over city finances and the high cost of living for Oahu residents.  He announced his candidacy at a conference room at Cycle City in Mapunapuna.

Cayetano said he was waiting for someone to restore “common sense” to Honolulu Hale but no candidate emerged.

“So I feel duty bound to come out of retirement and today I am pleased to stand with you and announce my candidacy for mayor,” Cayetano told a crowd of about fifty supporters.

Cayetano, 72, is a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that seeks to stop construction of the city’s $5.3 billion rail project from East Kapolei to Ala Moana.  He said he would seek a cheaper alternative to rail, such as bus rapid transit, which was first proposed under former Mayor Jeremy Harris.

“It’s pretty well proven that you give the bus a dedicated lane, it’ll beat the train all the time,” said Cayetano, who estimated the cost of a BRT system at $1 billion.


While former Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell and current Mayor Peter Carlisle will likely try to paint Cayetano as a ‘one issue’ candidate, Cayetano said it’s his two main opponents that are too focused on rail.

“Ask them about the parks (and) about the storm drains,” said Cayetano.  “They don’t want to talk about that, they want to talk about rail.”

Cayetano estimates the city faces $11.4 to $12.4 billion in infrastructure upgrades over the coming years.  He pointed to $5 billion to upgrade the Honolulu’s sewer system, $4 to $5 billion to refurbish the water system, $1.6 billion to repave roads, and another $800 million to fix storm drains.

“I believe that projects built by our city or state should be designed so they are consistent with our core values – our relationship to our environment, to each other and to the culture that binds us together as people.  The $5.3 billion rail project doesn’t cut it,” said the former governor.

Caldwell told reporters the former governor is frustrated over the pace of the lawsuit against rail transit and that’s why Cayetano decided to run.

“It’s not moving fast enough…so he’s going to take it to another level by running.  It is about one issue; to him it is about rail.”

Carlisle’s campaign manager, Cha Thompson, also shot back at Cayetano in a written statement.

“Rail will not bankrupt the city.  It’s an investment in the next generation, offering commuters a quality of life choice in dealing with traffic misery,” said Thompson.  “Mayor Peter Carlisle is committed to bringing fiscal discipline to the city.  He will grow our economy by continued investments in sewer upgrades, road repairs and other infrastructure projects.”


Cayetano said Caldwell sought the former governor’s endorsement for mayor about eight months ago, but decided against it because of Caldwell’s support for rail transit.  Cayetano said the two met face-to-face at the Zippy’s Restaurant in Kahala.

“When I figured out where he was going, then I decided I wasn’t going to support him,” said Cayetano.

“He said I was much more transparent and he said I would like to support you next time you run,” Caldwell told Khon2.  “I thought I was going to get his support.”


Cayetano is a longtime friend of Gov. Neil Abercrombie and he touted that relationship during Thursday’s press conference, saying the two could work together to merge similar services performed by both the city and state.

“If I’m elected, with Gov. Abercrombie there, it is the best chance for this city and state to work together to get rid of some of these duplicated services,” said Cayetano.

Abercrombie and Cayetano also share Walter Heen as a common link.  Heen, a former appellate judge, OHA trustee and politician, served as co-chair for Abercrombie’s gubernatorial campaign and will fill the same role for Cayetano.

Heen sounded confidant when speaking about Cayetano’s chances to be elected mayor.  “You know what I think,” he said, “we just knocked Peter Carlisle out of the race.”

Under the city charter, if a mayoral candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the August primary, he or she is declared the outright winner.  If not, the top two candidates move on to the general election in November.

Carlisle became mayor during a special election in September of 2010 to fill the remainder of former Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s term, who resigned to run for governor.

Carlisle won the eight way race with 38.8 percent of the vote compared to 34.6 percent for Caldwell.  Anti-rail candidate Panos Prevedouros came in third, having been supported by 18.5 percent of those who voted.

Cayetano has won all eight of his previous political campaigns, having served as a state representative, state senator and lieutenant governor.”

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6 Comments to IT’S TRUE! Ben IS Running for Mayor

  1. renee coester

    What a relief! Finally someone to vote for! Samantha was only two years old when we first met for your political career, and you have been a winner ever since. Got a large family now and we are all for you! Please be careful, it seems that the staradvertiser is strongly pro rail. Hopefully only to sell more papers.Imua Oahu, behind Ben to stop a runaway train project.

  2. Since Retiring from the US Military ( US Army ) in 1990, I have seen many Politicians attempt to restructure the face of Honolulu, some attempts prevailed and some failed. Frank Fasi reign as Mayor will live on in Hawaii’s Archieves of achievements, there will never be another Frank Fasi. Ben Cayetano’s book title ” Ben ” impressed me a lot, I do not know this man personally except for what I have read in his book, never meet him in person either! but through his book and what I have researched and learned about Ben Cayetano’s Political past , I am very, very impressed, this is why? I am supporting Ben Cayetano not 100% but 110 % for this election to Mayor of Honolulu. There are a lot of issues needs to be discussed and ironed out ! Rail ! my friend, needs to be buried and he knows that but again first things, first lets get Ben Cayetano into the Office of Mayor of Honolulu.

  3. Bobby Chang

    All you supporters of Ben Cayetano, don’t forget to register to vote and most of all, don’t forget to vote. Let’s try to get Ben elected in the primary!

  4. Brian T. Yamane

    Thank god someone like Ben has the balls to stand up for what is right! The poor people on the west side are being led to believe that this rail system will solve all their traffic problems. They’re being programmed to think with their hearts and not their brains. Can you imagine what traffic will be like if this project begins and they have to close Kam Hwy in Pearl City or Farrington Hwy in Waipahu down to one lane going each way? For months, or more likely years at a time? You think traffic is bad now? Can you see all the police officers standing around at the job sites doing nothing to help move traffic along? As it is now, many Hawaii drivers have a difficult time getting past a stalled car in the shoulder lane without having to rubber neck and come to a complete stop! Even more amazing is how the rail people predict this project will be completed by 2019! What kind of drugs are they taking? Where have they been for the last 50 years? When was the last major road project on Oahu ever completed on time? With 5.27 billion dollars, we could completely rebuild and redesign the H-1 and 2 freeways without all the stupid merge lanes, narrow exit ramps and bottlenecks. But, of course, we don’t need to spend 5.27 billion to solve many of our traffic problems. Anything but rail. With Ben in office, at least we have hope that this “train drain” can be stopped and more sensible solutions can be brought to fruition.

  5. Mito Ablan

    We are so proud to have the First Filipino-American in U.S. History, and by working together, we can bring Ben to Honolulu Hale and be the First Filipino-American Mayor in the City and County of Honolulu. But this is not the only reason why we are supporting Ben. We are concern on our children and grand children’s future. With the on going economy crisis, the rising of our property tax, with the on going additional half percent taxes we pay every time we spent a dollar, increase of our car registrations, increase of our sewer charges, our electric bills, telephone bills, how much more you think we have to spend when the Rail Transit exist. We all gonna be broke. Where is the quality of life we are aspiring for with our family and our children’s family…NONE! WHY? If we are working 2 or 3 jobs now, our children will be doing the same to survive with this kind of economy. Can we still enjoy to live here in Hawaii as we always call it “The island of Paradise” or the island of sweet Aloha. My friends, we can not afford to have the Rail here in Honolulu. This is not the right project as it was use to be when the economy still in good shape. A Mayor should protect the welfare of his people. A Mayor should be compasionate to our lifestyle. A Mayor should balance what is needed the most that fits in to our budget. Our population here in Oahu is not even a million. We cannot really compare Oahu with other countries. To me, driving 30 to 45 minutes is not really that bad. Driving in the mainland is even worse. Why you think we still have tourist coming here. It is better to drive around here to see the tourist spots than driving in the mainland especially when it is cold or when it is hot. I love Hawaii and I’m okay of what we have now. Our new Mayor should focus on fixing sewers, pave the potholes, improve our bulky pick up. Improve our bus system and whatever alternatives that will not cost that much to us citizen. I believed that if all these improvements will be in place, there will be more jobs out there. At least jobs will be offered here to the local people. Unlike the Rail, mostly people to be hired are from the mainland because they are the one with the expertise. Anyway, these are my thoughts and I ask the people of Hawaii to please let us work together to bring in BEN at the Honolulu Hale. CAYETANO FOR MAYOR.

  6. tony boquer

    Kamusta Mito,

    Wow long time no hear & no see! Are you still residing in Salt Lake? Its been ages since I visited your home on one special event. I believe it was during one of Rey Graulty’s campaign activities. Nice to see you are involved in Ben’s run for Mayor.

    I now reside with my oldest daughter in Ocean Pointe, Ewa Beach. I’m semi-retired working at St. Jude Church in Kapolei. This is the same parish where Rey & Gigi are also parishioners.

    Looking forward to seeing you in one of Ben’s events.


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