Clayton Hee, the state senator running for lieutenant governor in the Hawaii Democratic primary, is calling a radio commercial from a union “a smear” against his campaign at the 11th hour.

Hee, who made his remarks at a press conference Friday at his headquarters in Nuuanu, suggested that the Hawaii Government Employees Union is running its spot because the candidate it has endorsed for LG — incumbent Shan Tsutsui — is in a competitive race against Hee.

A Civil Beat Poll this week shows Tsutsui leading Hee by 10 percentage points, but with 20 percent of those surveyed undecided, our pollster Merriman River Group says the race could go either way.

There are three other candidates in the race, which will be decided Aug. 9.

At a news conference in his campaign headquarters, Clayton Hee holds up a resolution from the HGEA expressing gratitude to the state senator for his leadership in blocking a pension tax on seniors.

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

The radio spot Hee is referring to accuses Hee of misleading HGEA members and the voting public in two radio spots the candidate has run. Hee’s ads include testimonials from Madeline Neely, a member of the HGEA’s retirees unit.

In the spots, Neely praises Hee for leading the battle “to kill that attack on my retirement funds. Our HGEA Retirees Association honored Clayton Hee with a resolution for working for all of Hawai’s retirees.”

The HGEA sees things differently.

Executive Director Randy Perreira told Civil Beat late Friday that its ad is not a smear but instead “sets the record straight.” The union’s radio commercial features a narrator stating that Hee is misleading HGEA retirees and other voters by implying that the union is supporting Hee.

“Not true,” says the narrator, who ends the ad with these words: “Shame on you,…

Loading Clayton Hee Says HGEA Radio Ad a Campaign ‘Smear’

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