Honolulu Star-Advertiser Endorses Blangiardi

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Following in-depth interviews with both candidates, the editorial board of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says that “Blangiardi best choice for mayor.”

Here are key excerpts from the endorsement.

“This is not a conventional mayoral election year in Hawaii, judging by the configuration of the Honolulu race.

            Neither of the two contenders in the general election runoff has any experience in elected office — and judging by the number of eliminated political veterans in the original field of candidates, voters likely made this a conscious decision. What they need to decide now is which one is best suited for the unique challenges confronting Honolulu in 2020.

            The Honolulu Star-Advertiser believes that Rick Blangiardi possesses the kind of leadership style, business acumen, community ties and political independence that will best serve the city’s chief executive for what lies ahead in the next four years…”

            “There will be the imperative to make well-informed and independent decisions — tough ones, during the tough times ahead. Amemiya has a lot of the long-standing union, political and business establishment backing his run — many powerful influences to navigate.

            Blangiardi has his own share of endorsements and backers, but he’s had a history of presenting self-styled editorial ideas and initiatives addressing community problems such as home-lessness. Independence seems to be his brand, and that could prove critical.

            The mayor’s office, like any political job, is not the same as a business executive, but there is some overlap. In his meeting with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial board, Blangiardi said that his management involved “turn-around” challenges for struggling broadcast companies.

            This may be an essential capability. Honolulu is in the throes of the corona-virus economic crisis, with businesses failing or pushed to the brink. The recovery will be limping along, at best, when the new mayor takes office. After the last half-year of erratic government response to the pandemic, sometimes frustrating in its bureaucratic pace, there is a nagging sense that business as usual at City Hall simply will not be enough.

            Blangiardi said that he has the ability to understand financial problems and figure out a rescue strategy, and there is some basis for that assertion…”

            “The first order of business for the new mayor will be business. Honolulu would be served best by someone who has Rick Blangiardi’s skill set and outlook to take over at City Hall.”

The entire endorsement can be read at StarAdvertiser.com