I have known Kim Coco Iwamoto for decades. We met years before she entered the realm of politics with her election to the state school board. We were on an appointed committee to address school bullying, a pressing problem that the Legislature continues to ignore.  

As we worked together, I saw her work ethic, I saw her family ethic, I saw her friend ethic, and I also saw her willingness to take on a new issue.         

She has a very analytical as well as legal mind, a distinct advantage. The legal mind knows what the legal prescriptions are and knows how to formulate the arguments within that framework.

Sister Joan Chatfield and Kim Coco Iwamoto

Courtesy Josh Frost

She also has an analytical mind to know where this issue is going and which legal argument to use in the process. Such a skill set is not what every lawyer or politician has. She’s smart, and I like smart. 

She rejects the legislative horse trading that doesn’t serve the people. Kim Coco will bring to the job a willingness to look at an issue without the constraint of what its history had been. That’s in contrast to career politicians who play this board game that results in marginal legislation or worse punting the big issues to another session.

An example was paid family leave, an important issue that will help working families. Sidelined for a study.        

What really separates Kim Coco from the other candidates is she hasn’t been contaminated by the whole party regime. Many of our politicians by virtue of going into office feel they have an entitlement to stay and maybe move to different offices. But they stay too long, not because longevity is a problem, but because they don’t have that analytical approach to what they are doing.  They end up getting too comfortable. She wouldn’t bring that kind of baggage to this job.

And to those who bring up her transgender status, it’s simply wrong to discriminate against people for who they are. As the broad range of religious documents say, judge not, less you be judged.

As lieutenant governor she would simply do the work. She would get it ready and present it to the governor in almost quasi final form and that’s what she so’s good at. She doesn’t want to be the one who owns it, she wants to be the servant, a crucial quality to the job.

You don’t want a lieutenant governor to be so busy being lieutenant governor in order to be governor. That’s a distraction. 

Kim Coco will change the way the LG’s office is run, and in the process, help change the mindset of state government to better serve the people.

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