Panos Prevedouros will run for Honolulu mayor this year if Mufi Hannemann runs for governor, a near foregone conclusion. But the mayor’s race is nonpartisan. Why the declaration now?

When you spend a good chunk of your time hanging with folks like state Sen. Sam Slom and blogger Malia Zimmerman, as has UH engineering professor Panos Prevedouros, it comes as no shock that on April 20 he joined the Hawaii Republican Party.

Panos, formerly an independent, knows this, of course; he lost to Mufi in the 2008 election but took enough of the vote to force Hannemann and Honolulu Council member Ann Kobayashi into a runoff.

Others likely to vie for Mufi’s job are three Democrats — Honolulu City Council members Donovan Dela Cruz and Rod Tam, and Honolulu Managing Director Kirk Caldwell — and Honolulu City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, a Republican who only recently came out of the party closet. Council Chair [Todd Apo] is weighing a run as well, and last time I checked he was a Republican.

Question: Would the nation’s 13th-largest city be better off with Prevedouros, Ph.D., in charge?

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