Colleen Hanabusa backs Rick Blangiardi in race for mayor


Former mayoral candidate and one-time U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announced she was is backing her former opponent Rick Blangiardi for the Mayor. Hanabusa finished a close third in the primary election with strong support across the island.

Hanabusa said that Blangiardi is the one she trusts to lead the city through its current pandemic crisis. In making her endorsement, the longtime Democrat is giving a boost to a self-described independent over Keith Amemiya, who has campaigned as a Democrat in the nonpartisan race.

“I have always said throughout this campaign that rebuilding public confidence and faith in government, and trust in government, is going to be the greatest challenge for the next mayor,” she said. “I believe Rick Blangiardi is the person who can do that.”

“I could of course stay silent, that’s always an option,” said Hanabusa, but in these times we are going to face difficult circumstances, and we need someone who can make those hard decisions.”

Hanabusa, who made her state and federal experience the center of her campaign, acknowledged that neither general election candidate has the traditional political resume. However, Hanabusa said Blangiardi has the humility to admit what he doesn’t know.

“When there was a question asked of Rick that he didn’t know the answer, he would say ‘I don’t know, but I’ll find out,’” she said. “You know how honest that is? As opposed to somebody who may appear programmed and like a puppet and anytime you say a keyword, they respond with something. Rick is genuine.”

“I have respected and admired Colleen for many years,” said Blangiardi. “She is smart and focused, and frankly, I thought I would be competing against her in the general election. I’m humbled and very happy that she has chosen to support me, and I hope I can earn the trust and the vote of her supporters.”