Leaving GOP, Djou Eyes Council, Mayoral Races
by Andrew Walden
Reading Charles Djou’s ‘Why I’m Leaving The GOP’ statement published today, one might think Djou’s decision was all about Trump.
But buried in paragraph six and seven, something else pops up.
“Most of all, I have long believed that our government leaders must lead by example. Character counts.
“This is why I made the lack of ethics at City Hall and abuse of power by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell a key issue in the last mayor’s race. This is why I fought so hard to clean up the corrupt City Liquor Commission…..”
A February 11, 2018 Hawai’i Free Press article, Former Cocaine Dealer’s Wife Running for Honolulu Council, focuses on Heidi Tsuneyoshi’s Council District 2 campaign vs Robert Bunda. It drew a sharp emailed response from Djou which he did not ask to be kept off the record:
I’m absolutely backing Heidi 100% because she’s honest and a good person and can win.…
This race is a proxy fight between myself and Caldwell. Kirk’s people are running Bunda’s campaign. They owe Bunda for ramming rail down when he was HART chair. Because the Hawaii GOP isn’t putting up candidates this year, my team is all in with Heidi. Again, Heidi isn’t a felon and has no criminal record.
So you understand, 2018 is about the City Council. The GOP has nothing for any races. 2018 is a rerun of Kirk and myself. My team is helping Heidi, re-elect Trevor Ozawa against Tommy Waters and Kelly Kitashima to oust Brandon Elefante. Kirk is in with Bunda, Waters and Elefante. If my team wins, with Kobayashi on my side we maybe can take control. Kirk wins and he will have super majority control over the City Council.
Just a few hours after Djou’s resignation statement was posted online, Ernie Martin re-took the Chairmanship of the Honolulu Council. The new council majority questions Mayor Caldwell’s proposal for Honolulu County funds to be spent on rail.
In the 2016 mayoral race Djou's favorable poll numbers were ground away by hundreds of Caldwell TV and radio commercials reminding voters that Djou is a Republican.
Djou won't have that problem in 2020.