Charles Djou’s campaign acknowledged the novelty of the occasion of having received union endorsements in his campaign for Honolulu mayor.

After all, the Republican politician had not received labor backing since 2006, and Democrats have historically sided with Democrats. Ten years ago Djou was backed by unions representing the police and firefighters unions — even though he was unopposed in his race.

But five union leaders endorsed Djou on Monday: Reggie Castanares of Plumbers and Fitters Union, Local 675; Damien Kim, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1186;  Douglas Fulp, International Association Of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Local 132; Marc Yamane, International Union of Elevator Constructors, Local 126; and Harold Dias, IBEW, Local 1260.

The Djou campaign said the unions were among the first to support Caldwell when he first ran for mayor, and the candidate called their support significant.

Charles Djou Mayor candidate. 16 june 2016
Charles Djou and his Kalihi campaign headquarters earlier this month. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“It’s because Honolulu Hale is a complete mess under Kirk Caldwell,” he said. “I think it is very self evident that the leadership under the current administration has been uneven and haphazard. Organized labor simply no longer trusts the administration and is looking for new leadership.”

Previously, Djou picked up the support of three prominent Democrats. Combined with the fresh union support, Djou says it shows that he can build a broad coalition.

Caldwell still holds big a lead in union backing, however.

It includes the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the Painters and Allied Trades Union, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Ironworkers Local 625; the Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers; State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers; and the Hawaii Construction Alliance, which is comprised of the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association, Local 630; International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, Local 1; the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 368; and the Operating Engineers, Local Union No. 3.

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