KIRK CALDWELL WITHDRAWS FROM GUBERNATORIAL RACE
News Release from Caldwell campaign
(Honolulu, HI, May 4, 2022) “After much thought and deep consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the race for Governor of the State of Hawai’i.
All candidates for major office weigh the viability of their campaigns every day, or at least they should. A lot is at stake. A lot of money is being spent. A lot of good people are affected. After keeping a close watch on how the campaign was evolving, my gut, my manaʻo, was telling me this was not my time to seek the governorship. These are the primary reasons behind my decision:
Lack of funding. Raising money for this campaign has been difficult, and it is now clear that the lack of funding will seriously affect operations and the ability to continue grass roots, public events, and communicate effectively going forward. I have an excellent operations team, but a major campaign needs funding to produce results and keep up morale.
Lack of momentum. I fully recognize that I am an underdog in this race. In the past, I’ve been the underdog in two of my campaigns for Mayor and won those races, so I’m not afraid to run from behind. However, in this race, I’m not sensing the kind of momentum I know I need in the time we have left to continue to be viable.
Choosing the next governor requires careful consideration. I want to give my supporters enough time to consider who they will now vote for. This is an important race for Hawaii’s future, perhaps the most important. I’ve spent the past few months elevating the issues that I strongly believe need focused attention by our elected officials. I urge every single voter to pay attention to where the candidates stand on these issues, what they are saying, and most important, what are they doing about it. Hold them to the fire.
This is not my time. After serving eight years as the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, I am proud of all that we accomplished, including the last year in 2020 which focused almost entirely on the Covid pandemic. I’ve made hard decisions and have taken action on many controversial projects. Working in the public arena means building a track record, but it also means putting yourself at risk of losing popularity and overexposure. On the campaign trail, so many people have thanked me and shown heartfelt friendship and aloha. That means a lot to me, but I understand such sentiments don’t necessarily translate into votes.
Therefore, I have determined that, though it would be a privilege to serve, continuing my campaign for governor is not something I should continue. I know that there will be a right time and a right place for me in some future role. I still have great desire, high energy, and passion for public service — all of which I want to invest towards working for Hawai’i. I’m excited about finding what that next role will be for me.
I want to thank everyone who helped me and believed in me throughout my political career. It was a great honor, I loved the work, and I stand ready to serve the people of Hawai‘i in the future.”
Feb 3, 2022: Kahele operative says Caldwell should quit race
RELATED: Kahele is set to make an announcement May 7
HNN: Caldwell did not close off the possibility of running for another race amid rumors that Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele could throw his hat into the governor’s race.
Did Caldwell get a ‘Target letter’ from Feds?
ILind: … He had not yet scheduled any fundraising events this year, which could have indicated internal questions about the viability of his candidacy.
UPDATE: Wong said Caldwell has not received a subject or target letter from the Department of Justice
Meanwhile, three of his administration’s most visible players—former corporation counsel Donna Leong, former managing director Roy Amemiya, and former police commission chair Max Sword—are facing federal conspiracy charges stemming from what prosecutors allege was their effort to fund a payout to former Honolulu’s former police chief Louis Kealoha without obtaining required City Council approval. Leong has also been hit with additional charges of lying to the FBI.
Caldwell has repeatedly said he has confidence in all three and believes they will be proved innocent.
But after failing to win dismissal of the charges, those three are presumably jockeying for plea deals which would require coming clean about any knowledge they might have about other questionable activities within the administration.
So could a Caldwell target letter be somewhere in the mix? I’ll be watching to see how he responds if the question is put to him directly in the aftermath of his unexpected withdrawal from the governor’s race….
read … Is there more behind Caldwell’s dropout from governor’s race?