by Andrew Walden
In an odd sequence of events, Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Adrienne King last week first claimed and then retracted her claim to have won the endorsements of both the Kona and Maui TEA Party groups. Rep. Pat Saiki, Honolulu’s Republican Congresswoman from 1986 to 1990, also rejects King’s continuing use of Saiki’s name as an endorser.
An August 18 King campaign news release claimed:
“Yesterday the Maui Tea Party and the Kona Tea Party have both officially announced their endorsement for Adrienne S. King for Lieutenant Governor. Adrienne is the only Tea Party Sponsor candidate in the GOP race for Lieutenant Governor and is the only candidate who has supported the Tea Party from the very beginning and has sponsored their events.”
But after Hawai’i Free Press posted King’s announcement online, her campaign on August 20 released a retraction. It turns out that King had not received an endorsement from the Maui TEA Party or the Kona TEA Party. Instead King was able to point only to some favorable comments about her on the Maui TEA Party website and the endorsement of a single activist in the Kona District of the Big Island who operates a website under the name “First Kona TEA Party.”
Contacted by Hawai’i Free Press, Rick Thompson, Chairman of the Kona TEA Party explained:
You are correct that the Kona Tea Party is not endorsing Adrienne King. Our policy is to not make an endorsement in contested primary races. Thus we have no endorsement for the Lt. Governor race at this time.
This is not the only trouble King’s campaign has had with endorsements. King’s campaign literature, website, and email communications indicate she is endorsed by former GOP Congresswoman Pat Saiki. But Saiki June 29 issued a formal statement endorsing King’s GOP Primary opponent, House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan. Hawai’i Free Press posted Saiki’s endorsement statement online.
A question about the Saiki endorsement drew a terse emailed response from King:
Pat Saiki gave me her endorsement over a year ago when I was the only GOP LG candidate. I asked her twice on two separate occasions.
My brochures were printed listing her, Sen. Sam Slom, Rep. Kym Pine and Rep. Colleen Meyer as my endorsers.
She acknowledged my opponent as equally worthy of her endorsement.
She has never asked me to withdraw her name from my printed matter, of which I have no doubt she is aware.
The endorsement by Pat Saiki stands.
But Saiki says otherwise. In response to a query from Hawai’i Free Press, Saiki explained:
“I have officially endorsed Lynn Finnegan for Lt. Governor. I'm sorry if Adrienne misunderstood my encouraging her to run for public office as an endorsement for the Lt. Governor race.”
Finnegan and King will face off in the September 18 Republican Primary election. The winner of that race will become Duke Aiona’s running mate for the November 2 General Election.
RELATED: Former US Rep. Pat Saiki endorses Finnegan for Lt. Governor, CORRECTION: Maui, Kona TEA Party groups DO NOT back King for Lt Governor
Must Read: Hawaii Republican Assembly: Home to Hawaii's moderate Republicans
Lynn Finnegan: www.lynnfinnegan.com
Adrienne King: http://adriennesking.com