The Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state’s largest union, is endorsing Keith Amemiya in the Honolulu mayoral election, the group announced on Thursday.
HGEA executive director Randy Perreira said the organization’s political action committee felt Amemiya has a “proven history of caring for the people of Hawaii.” Amemiya is a former senior vice president of Island Holdings, the parent company of Island Insurance, and a former director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. The first-time candidate has described himself as an outsider who can provide a fresh perspective and restore trust in government.
“He’s smart, he brings people together and he gets the job done,” Perreira said in a statement. “In times of crisis and in economic prosperity, we believe he will base his decisions on what is good for the people of Hawaii, not just numbers.”
In a statement, Amemiya said HGEA’s 40,000 members are providing essential public services during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Because they don’t seek recognition, they are often forgotten by people at the top, but I see them,” he said. “If and when we prevail in this Mayor’s race, it will be my greatest honor to work side-by-side with our public employees to rebuild a strong middle class, chart a new course with fresh ideas, and emerge from this COVID-19 disaster with hope and health for all.”