Lt. Gov. Josh Green raised more than $400,000 this year in his bid to succeed his boss as Hawaii’s next governor, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday.
Gov. David Ige, whose second term ends in 2022, is ineligible to run again because of term limits. The race to replace him is already shaping up.
Green’s campaign finance reports show he raised $424,000 between Jan. 1 and June 30. That raised his total campaign coffers to more than $600,000 when combined with previous donations.
Former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who intends to run as well, raised just $9,000 during the same period. Caldwell’s campaign finance report filed late Monday shows that he has just over $509,000 in the bank.
Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano has also said she is considering running for governor, but she has yet to form a candidate committee that can receive political donations.
The full field of Democratic and Republican candidates for governor won’t be known until next June, the deadline for candidates to file paperwork to run for office. The primary election will take place in August 2022 with a general election being held in November 2022.
They included Paul and Susan King of Security Systems; George Ruff, founder of Trinity Hotel Investors; Christopher Seeger, a New York attorney; Donna Schmidt of Windward Urgent Care and Ernel Roque of the Hawaii Academy of Family Physicians.
Much of Green’s donations in the past came from the doctors and the local medical community. However, he’s since diversified his campaign’s revenue sources, raking in donations from prominent attorneys and hoteliers.
Four partners of major Honolulu law firms maxed out their contributions to Green including Richard Fried of Cronin Fried Sekiya Kekina and Fairbanks; Mark Davis of Davis Levin Livingston; Bill McCorriston of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon; and David Banks of Cades Schutte.
Two attorneys with Imanaka Asato also donated $1,000 each. The president of the firm, Mitchell Imanaka, is Caldwell’s fundraising manager.
Diversifying Revenue Sources
David Molton donated $2,000 to Green’s campaign. Molton’s law firm, mainland-based Brown Rudnick, has been involved in several high-profile cases.
The firm has represented Boy Scouts in a class-action lawsuit over abuse allegations within the Boy Scouts of America. It also represented actor Johnny Depp in his ongoing legal battle with actress Amber Heard.
Hoteliers are also supporting Green. One in particular is Jeff Stone, founder of The Resort Group, which has developed several Koolina properties. Three Resort Group employees donated $1,000 each.
Lorrie Stone, Jeff Stone’s wife, donated $3,000 to Green’s campaign. Lorrie Stone also worked on Ige’s transition team in 2015.
Kisan Jo, president of Prince Resorts Hawaii, gave $3,000 to Green; and Gerard Gibson, vice president of the Turtle Bay Resort, gave $1,000.
Green still has support from the local medical community.
The heads of two of the largest health insurance companies — Mark Mugiishi, the CEO of Hawaii Medical Services Association, and John Henry Felix, president of the Hawaii Medical Assurance Association — donated the maximum $6,000 to Green during the reporting period.
Four other HMSA employees also donated $1,000 each.
Caldwell Lags Behind
Caldwell’s top donor in the first six months of the year was Hawaiian Building Maintenance, a cleaning service that gave the former mayor $3,000.
Jeffrey Kalani, CEO of YK Holdings Inc., and Brian Sekiguchi, a project manager at Ronald N.S. Ho & Associates, each gave Caldwell $2,000.
Imanaka, Caldwell’s fundraising manager, gave $250 during the reporting period and has so far donated $4,900 to the campaign.
Caldwell held a fundraiser July 27 via Zoom. He asked for donations between $250 and $2000.
However, the results of that fundraiser aren’t captured in the reports filed Monday. Campaign contributions accrued between July 1 and Dec. 31 don’t need to be reported until late January.
A run at the governor’s seat can be costly. In 2018, Ige outspent his challenger, Colleen Hanabusa, $2.4 million to Hanabusa’s $2 million.
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
Not a subscription
Civil Beat is a small nonprofit newsroom, and we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content because we believe in journalism as a public service.
That’s why donations from readers like you are essential to our continued existence.
Help keep our journalism free for all readers by becoming a monthly member of Civil Beat today.
Blaze Lovell is a reporter for Civil Beat and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @blaze_lovell