Hawaii Elections 2020

Honolulu Mayor 2020 Election

More than a dozen people were in the running for Honolulu mayor this year to replace Kirk Caldwell who is term-limited. It’s the biggest race in Hawaii in 2020.

Voters narrowed it down to two candidates in the Aug. 8 primary — Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya — who will advance to the Nov. 3 all-mail general election. Check out Civil Beat’s profiles of the candidates, read our continuing coverage and watch our in-depth interviews with our media partner Hawaii News Now. All candidates were invited to answer a detailed questionnaire about their views on key issues.

Other Hawaii Races
Honolulu Prosecutor | OHA Trustees

New Honolulu Mayor Warns Road Ahead ‘Is Not Going To Be Easy’ Courtesy: Jamm Aquino/POOL

New Honolulu Mayor Warns Road Ahead ‘Is Not Going To Be Easy’

Rick Blangiardi was sworn in Saturday as the chief executive officer of the City and County of Honolulu.

Keith Amemiya: Political Outsider Or Establishment Insider? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Keith Amemiya: Political Outsider Or Establishment Insider?

Despite deep political ties to numerous state and local officials, Keith Amemiya says he has the fresh perspective that Honolulu needs in the mayor’s office.  

Rick Blangiardi: This Former TV Exec Wants To Be CEO Of Honolulu Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Rick Blangiardi: This Former TV Exec Wants To Be CEO Of Honolulu

Rick Blangiardi regularly used his platform on Hawaii News Now to criticize from the sidelines. Now he admits he doesn’t have all the answers either.

Video Interviews

VIDEO: The Job Interview — Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Keith Amemiya

VIDEO: The Job Interview — Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Keith Amemiya

In an hourlong conversation, the candidate fields questions from Civil Beat and Hawaii News Now on leadership, trust, tourism and the economy.

VIDEO: The Job Interview — Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Rick Blangiardi

VIDEO: The Job Interview — Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Rick Blangiardi

In an hourlong conversation, the candidate fields questions from Civil Beat and Hawaii News Now on leadership, homelessness, tourism and the economy.

VIDEOS: Civil Beat Interviews With Keith Amemiya And Rick Blangiardi

VIDEOS: Civil Beat Interviews With Keith Amemiya And Rick Blangiardi

The Honolulu mayoral candidates participated in “Know Your Candidate” sessions with Civil Beat journalists.

Candidate Q&As

Candidate Q&A: Honolulu Mayor — Keith Amemiya Marc Schechter / 2019

Candidate Q&A: Honolulu Mayor — Keith Amemiya

“COVID-19 is the crisis of today, but climate change is the crisis of our lifetime.”

Candidate Q&A: Honolulu Mayor — Rick Blangiardi

Candidate Q&A: Honolulu Mayor — Rick Blangiardi

“In many ways we have been wholesaling our home to masses of visitors.”

Primary Candidates

Duke Bourgoin

Candidate Q&A

Ernest Caravalho

Candidate Q&A

Choon James

Candidate Q&A

John Carroll

Candidate Q&A

Audrey Keesing

Candidate Q&A

Bud Stonebraker

Candidate Q&A

Ho Yin (Jason) Wong

Candidate Q&A

Mayoral Candidates who have not returned a Candidate Q&A

Karl Dicks, Tim Garry and Micah Mussell

Ongoing Coverage

VIDEOS: Civil Beat Interviews With Keith Amemiya And Rick Blangiardi

VIDEOS: Civil Beat Interviews With Keith Amemiya And Rick Blangiardi

The Honolulu mayoral candidates participated in “Know Your Candidate” sessions with Civil Beat journalists.

Honolulu Mayor Candidates Say They’d Finish Rail As Planned But Not How They’d Pay For It

Honolulu Mayor Candidates Say They’d Finish Rail As Planned But Not How They’d Pay For It

But the situation with the more than $9 billion project is so fluid right now that both Amemiya and Blangiardi struggle to say how they’ll handle it.

Here’s How Honolulu’s Mayoral Candidates Differ — Or Not — On Police Reform Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Here’s How Honolulu’s Mayoral Candidates Differ — Or Not — On Police Reform

Both candidates are largely content with the department and the practices that are already in place. Neither would cut police funding.

Amemiya Maintains Fundraising Lead In Final Stretch Of Mayor’s Race Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Amemiya Maintains Fundraising Lead In Final Stretch Of Mayor’s Race

Candidates submitted their final campaign spending reports before residents start voting by mail throughout October. Two more reports are due before Nov. 3.

How Honolulu’s Mayoral Candidates Would Tackle The Pandemic

How Honolulu’s Mayoral Candidates Would Tackle The Pandemic

Blangiardi and Amemiya both would have done things different than the Caldwell administration but they differ most on the role of police.

Hawaii Carpenters Super PAC Backs Blangiardi In TV Spot

Hawaii Carpenters Super PAC Backs Blangiardi In TV Spot

The political action committee formerly known as PRP supported Caldwell in the 2012 mayoral race.

In New TV Ad, Amemiya Compares Blangiardi To Trump

In New TV Ad, Amemiya Compares Blangiardi To Trump

The candidate also embraces the Democratic Party of Hawaii and buys more airtime than his mayoral opponent.

Campaign Corner: Amemiya, Blangiardi Just More Of The Same

Campaign Corner: Amemiya, Blangiardi Just More Of The Same

Their visions are echoes of each other and an echo of the Caldwell administration.

Campaign Spending Commission Investigating Anti-Amemiya PAC Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Campaign Spending Commission Investigating Anti-Amemiya PAC

People who donated to the PAC are not among Hawaii’s typical political contributors.

Honolulu Mayor: Blangiardi And Amemiya Advance To Runoff Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Mayor: Blangiardi And Amemiya Advance To Runoff

The two former businessmen, both in their first foray into politics, are headed to the Nov. 3 general election

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Blangiardi Holds Double-Digit Lead In Honolulu Mayor’s Race Hawaii News Now

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Blangiardi Holds Double-Digit Lead In Honolulu Mayor’s Race

But Hanabusa and Amemiya are tied for second and will likely force a runoff in November.

Hanabusa, Esser Surge In Campaign Cash In Race For Mayor, Prosecutor Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hanabusa, Esser Surge In Campaign Cash In Race For Mayor, Prosecutor

Keith Amemiya and Steve Alm have raised and spent the most overall but their challengers gained momentum in the month leading up to the primary.

Mayoral Candidate Aims To Break Through With TV Spot

Mayoral Candidate Aims To Break Through With TV Spot

Bud Stonebraker buys airtime along with “big five” Hannemann, Amemiya, Pine, Hanabusa and Blangiardi.

New Rick Blangiardi TV Ads: ‘I’m Not A Politician’

New Rick Blangiardi TV Ads: ‘I’m Not A Politician’

The candidate for Honolulu mayor blames “career politicians” for the city’s problems.

Denby Fawcett: MidWeek’s Troubling Pay-To-Play Journalism Screenshot

Denby Fawcett: MidWeek’s Troubling Pay-To-Play Journalism

Mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya’s cover story this week looks like a news article but it’s a paid advertisement.

How Kym Pine Is Using the ‘Power Of Incumbency’ In Mayor’s Race

How Kym Pine Is Using the ‘Power Of Incumbency’ In Mayor’s Race

The term-limited Honolulu councilwoman is making use of her city platform as she seeks higher office. 

Honolulu’s Next Mayor Will Face Major Obstacles On Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu’s Next Mayor Will Face Major Obstacles On Rail

Most of the top contenders say they would hit the brakes on the $9 billion project if financial hurdles can’t be overcome.

Here’s How Honolulu’s Mayoral Candidates Want To Help The Economy Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Here’s How Honolulu’s Mayoral Candidates Want To Help The Economy

Mayoral candidates differ on taxes and growing the economy, but agree that tourism had grown too big before the COVID-19 crisis.

This New PAC Is Attacking Mayoral Candidate Keith Amemiya Cory Lum/Civil Beat

This New PAC Is Attacking Mayoral Candidate Keith Amemiya

The PAC has not reported where it’s getting its money. The next state report isn’t due until just before the primary.

How Rick Blangiardi Got Caught Up In A 1980s Bank Fraud Scheme Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Rick Blangiardi Got Caught Up In A 1980s Bank Fraud Scheme

Thirty-five years ago, the federal government sued Rick Blangiardi for his participation in a loan scam. The mayoral candidate says he was duped by criminals.

New TV Spots Promote Keith Amemiya’s Democratic Roots

New TV Spots Promote Keith Amemiya’s Democratic Roots

The first-time candidate in the nonpartisan race for Honolulu mayor is also advertising heavily.

Kym Pine Touts ‘Strong, Passionate’ Leadership In Political Ad

Kym Pine Touts ‘Strong, Passionate’ Leadership In Political Ad

The candidate for mayor of Honolulu has just one TV commercial running but plans more.

Neal Milner: 4 Ways This Honolulu Mayor’s Race Is Like None Before It Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Neal Milner: 4 Ways This Honolulu Mayor’s Race Is Like None Before It

The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping both campaigning and what voters are looking for in a candidate.

Why ‘Mayor Mufi’ Wants To Be Mayor Mufi Again

Why ‘Mayor Mufi’ Wants To Be Mayor Mufi Again

The former Honolulu executive is betting that voters will want a tested leader in these testy times.