Mufi Hannemann

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Mufi Hannemann was Honolulu’s first mayor of Samoan ancestry and the second Honolulu mayor to be born on Oahu since statehood. An astute politician whose ambition can be traced back to childhood, Hannemann has proved capable of working with high ranking officials regardless of party.

Hannemann lost to opponent Tulsi Gabbard in the August 2012 Democratic primary for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. Gabbard received 54 percent of the vote while Hannemann received 34 percent.

Prior to the August primary, the Hannemann campaign had lagged behind Gabbard in campaign donations, motivating Hannemann to loan himself $150,000. A Civil Beat poll predicted that Gabbard would beat Hannemann by 20 points.

Hannemann announced his candidacy in the 2012 race for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District on Aug. 30, 2011.

His announcement for CD2 came less than a year after Hannemann lost the Democratic primary for Hawaii governor to his longtime rival, former Congressman Neil Abercrombie. After the 2010 election, he took a high-profile job as president of the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association.

During the gubernatorial primary 2010 primary, Abercrombie handily defeatedHannemann 59.4 percent to 37.8 percent for the Democratic nomination. Abercrombie went on to win the general election against Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona 58-41 percent.

The 2010 primary race between Abercrombie and Hannemann was distinguished most by negative campaigning from Hannemann and his supporters that recalled the 1986 race between the candidates for the 1st Congressional District.

Hannemann could not win the primary despite endorsements from the state’s biggest and most influential organized labor union, the Hawaii Government Employees Association AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO, with 43,000 members and the state’s largest construction union, Hawaii Carpenters Local 745, with about 7,500 members. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142, the state’s largest private sector union representing about 18,000, had also endorsed the former mayor.

After the primary, Hannemann told Civil Beat that he waited too long to resign from his job as mayor and entered the race too late. He stepped down July 20, 2010.

Hannemann was born Muliufi Francis Hannemann on July 16, 1954, to Samoan-German-English immigrants Gustav and Faiaso Hannemann, the sixth of seven children. He was raised in Kalihi and attended public elementary school before transferring to the prestigious private Iolani School, graduating in 1972.
Hannemann is fond of reminding people that he attended Fern Elementary School, which was named for Honolulu’s first mayor, Joseph Fern.

He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Hannemann is married to Gail Mukaihata Hannemann, chief executive officer of the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii.

Hannemann was been a history teacher and varsity basketball coach at Iolani School, as well as an executive for C. Brewer and Company. However, the bulk of his experience has been in public service at municipal, state and federal levels. He served under four of the past six U.S. presidential administrations and used his experience as a White House fellow during the Ronald Reagan administration as the model when he founded the Pacific Century Fellows, a leadership mentoring program. He was a special assistant to Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi and cabinet member under Gov. John Waihee, serving as director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism and the Office of International Relations.

After unsuccessful bids for U.S. Congress, Hannemann was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 1995 and served five years, including as chairman. He resigned from the council to run against incumbent Mayor Jeremy Harris, who won re-election in the 2000 primary election.

In 2004, Hannemann became the 12th mayor of Honolulu, beating former Council member Duke Bainum by a margin of about 1,350 of the almost 295,000 votes cast. He was re-elected in 2008, beating Councilwoman Ann Kobayshi by a 15 percentage-point margin.

Hannemann is probably best known for advancing the Honolulu rail project project, and was the first mayor to convince both the state Legislature and City Council to approve a half-percent general excise tax surcharge to help fund a rapid transit project.

As mayor, he raised vehicle weight taxes and doubled sewer fees to fill potholes and make much-needed sewer repairs. Hannemann is also known for efforts to move the homeless out of public parks, starting with a massive cleanup of Ala Moana Beach Park in 2006 in preparation for the first Honolulu Family Festival.

Mufi Hannemann

July 2016

Thursday, July 14

In Honolulu Mayoral Forum, It’s All About The Rail Project

May 2016

Tuesday, May 10

New Political Parties Get Their Shot On Hawaii Ballots This Year

February 2015

Monday, February 2

Large Rail Contractors Dump $1.3 Million into Local Campaign Coffers

November 2014

Tuesday, November 4

Hawaii Governor: Ige Defeats Aiona in Landslide Vote

September 2014

Tuesday, September 30

Denby Fawcett: Digging Up Dirt and Opposition Research 101

Aiona, Ige Largely Like-Minded on Needed Education Reform

Wednesday, September 17

Donations Flow Into Hannemann Campaign, But Debts Still Unpaid

Monday, September 15

Three Candidates, Three Views on Future of Fast-Growing Kakaako

August 2014

Friday, August 29

The Projector: The Governor’s Race and HECO’s Renewable Power Play

December 2013

Thursday, December 5

Chad Blair: Mufi Returns?

June 2013

Tuesday, June 4

HUD Nails City For $8 Million In ORI Mismanagement Fiasco

August 2012

Thursday, August 9

Déjà Vu As Gabbard, Hannemann Fight for Senators’ Support

Thursday, August 2

Civil Beat Poll – Tulsi Leaves Mufi In Her Dust

Wednesday, August 1

Mufi’s Last Chance?

July 2012

Tuesday, July 31

Trailing Gabbard, Hannemann Gives Campaign $150K

Tuesday, July 24

Hawaii Candidates Banking on ‘Like’-Ability

Monday, July 16

Hannemann and Gabbard Race For The Cash

Thursday, July 12

Candidates for 2nd Congressional District Stress Background

Wednesday, July 11

Mufi Hannemann Answers Congressional District 2 Survey

Tuesday, July 10

Gabbard Files FEC Complaint Against Hannemann

June 2012

Monday, June 11

Civil Beat Poll – Stunning Turnaround In Hawaii’s CD2 Race

March 2012

Saturday, March 31

Hannemann Courts GOP Donors On Guam

Thursday, March 8

Hawaii Candidates Play Chicken on Disclosing Their Tax Returns

February 2012

Tuesday, February 21

Gabbard Campaign Benefits from Generous Family Support

Tuesday, February 7

Campaign Ads Now Hitting Hawaii Airwaves

January 2012

Thursday, January 5

Hawaii Candidates Keep Fundraisers Under Wraps

December 2011

Thursday, December 29

Could Hawaii’s 2nd District Go From Most Liberal to Most Conservative?

Wednesday, December 28

Big Changes in Store for Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation

October 2011

Friday, October 28

Hannemann Radio Show Doesn’t Cross Legal Line

Tuesday, October 18

CEOs, Developers Pump Up Hannemann’s Campaign Coffers

Monday, October 17

Hannemann Shows Fundraising Muscle

Friday, October 14

Capitol Watch: Oct. 14

September 2011

Thursday, September 15

Hawaii GOP Plans to Field CD2 Candidate

Saturday, September 10

Capitol Watch: Sept. 12

Tuesday, September 6

The Story of Mufi Hannemann and Tulsi Gabbard

August 2011

Wednesday, August 31

Gabbard’s Six Unions Didn’t Go for Mufi Last Time, Either

Tuesday, August 30

A Kinder, Gentler Mufi Hannemann?

Mufi Hannemann Running for Congress

June 2011

Thursday, June 16

Capitol Watch: June 17

Tuesday, June 14

The Many Tweets of Mufi

March 2011

Thursday, March 3

Akaka Retirement Triggers Political Free-For-All

February 2011

Sunday, February 20

Rail Groundbreaking: Phony or For Real?

Sunday, February 6

Capitol Watch: Feb. 7

January 2011

Monday, January 17

Honolulu Mayor Could Gut Capital Budget

Friday, January 14

Mufi Won’t Challenge Akaka, Period

Wednesday, January 12

Inside Honolulu: Jan. 12

Monday, January 3

Sierra Club Website Hacked

December 2010

Thursday, December 16

Mufi Makes His Return to Honolulu Hale

Wednesday, December 15

Inside Honolulu: Dec. 15

Monday, December 13

Capitol Watch: Dec. 14

September 2010

Monday, September 20

Analysis: Negative Hannemann Ads Hurt Caldwell’s Mayoral Bid

SLIDE SHOW The Final Day: No Gold at End of Rainbow for Mufi Hannemann

Sunday, September 19

Mufi = Neil = Love

Rejected: Honolulu Hale’s Leaders

Friday, September 17

Abercrombie Rolls Over Hannemann

Why I Would Make the Best Governor – Neil Abercrombie

Mufi’s Tweet to the Finish Line

Thursday, September 16

Why I Would Make the Best Governor – Mufi Hannemann

Wednesday, September 15

Canvassing the Valley Isle

Tuesday, September 14

The Last Round: Mufi vs. Neil on Maui

Mufi Tries to Get His Mojo Back

Monday, September 13

Hannemann: $280 million in New Spending on Two Pages of Abercrombie Plan

Abercrombie: Religious Flier Distorts My Record

Friday, September 10

Where Mufi and Neil Get Their Money, Part 2

Civil Beat Poll Reveals Hannemann’s Problems, Abercrombie’s Strength

Civil Beat Poll: Abercrombie on Top, Hannemann in Trouble

Thursday, September 9

God and Hawaii Politics

Hannemann: Abercrombie Rated 30 Percent Positive By U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Who’d Be a Green Governor? Mufi Hannemann

Wednesday, September 8

How Do Guv Candidates’ Green Creds Stack Up?

The Personal Is Political

Saturday, September 4

Venture Capital Associations Duel Over Mufi and Neil

Wednesday, September 1

Mufi Camp Removes ‘Compare and Decide’ Flier from Website

August 2010

Tuesday, August 31

Mufi’s ‘Compare and Decide’ Flier still on the Web

Lightning Round: The Governor Debate

Audience Disrupts TV Debate

Following the Gov Debate, in 140 Characters or Less

The Gov Debate Before It Happens

Mufi: I Lost Teachers Union Endorsement By One Vote

Friday, August 27

The Familiar and the Fresh From Mufi and Neil

Wednesday, August 25

Business Exec Disavows Anti-Mufi Letter As Forgery

Fifth Floor Diplomacy From Duke, Mufi ‘n’ Neil

Friday, August 20

Sunday in Moiliili With Dan

Gov Wannabes Want Business Climate Change

Thursday, August 19

Hannemann: I Graduated Cum Laude Twice

Abercrombie’s Vision Thing

Wednesday, August 18

What Hannemann’s Flier Tells Us About Him — and Us

Monday, August 16

Mufi vs. Neil: The Second Bloody Round

Friday, August 13

Hannemann: City Council Never Overrode a Veto

Thursday, August 12

Abercrombie: Feds Paid for Special Election

Style, Leadership Differences Emerge in Gov Debate

Sunday, August 8

Giving It Up for the Boss

Saturday, August 7

Where Mufi and Neil Get Their Money

Friday, August 6

Mufi: Neil’s Congressional Performance “Dead Last”

Thursday, August 5

Hannemann: Labor King?

Wednesday, August 4

Abercrombie: Election Will Be Won on Neighbor Islands

Hannemann on Endorsements by Business Groups

July 2010

Wednesday, July 28

Hannemann: I’m Only Candidate With Private Sector Experience

Tuesday, July 27

Hannemann: Let’s Bring The Superferry Back

Thursday, July 22

Hawaii Links for Thursday, July 14

Wednesday, July 21

Mufi, Neil and Duke Talk Tech

How Green Is Hannemann? He Won’t Show Or Tell

Hawaii links for Wednesday, July 21

Run4HIGov.com

Tuesday, July 20

Track the Fundraisers with Civil Beat

Monday, July 19

Hannemann’s PR Sprint to the Finish Line

No, Mufi, That Wasn’t “A Right Thing To Say”

Saturday, July 17

Look For the Union Label

Thursday, July 15

Does Half of Hawaii Follow @Mufi on Twitter?

Monday, July 12

Hawaii Links for Monday, July 12

Friday, July 9

Hawaii Links for Friday, July 9

June 2010

Wednesday, June 30

UPDATE: Poll Says Dems Will Win Governor’s Race

Tuesday, June 15

Hawaii Links for Tuesday, June 15

Thursday, June 10

What Headquarters Tell Us About Governor Candidates

May 2010

Monday, May 31

Going Forward: The Democratic Race For Governor

Thursday, May 27

Can Hawaii Democrats Unite At Weekend Convention?

Discussion: Hawaii Politics

UPDATE: Mufi Hannemann Declares Bid For Governor

Wednesday, May 26

Mufi v. Neil in 1986: The Bloody First Round

Discussion: Hawaii Governor’s Race

Tuesday, May 18

UPDATE: Abercrombie Opens Second Big Isle Campaign Office

Wednesday, May 12

UPDATE: The Four Bs On Hawaii Politics

Friday, May 7

UPDATE: City Says It Did Not Violate Procurement Law

Monday, May 3

Discussion: Honolulu

April 2010

Saturday, April 24

Los Angeles Rail — A mayor’s support