Cayetano: I'm Not a One-Issue Anti-Rail Candidate

Michael Levine/Civil Beat


That may be the first word voters think of when they're evaluating former Gov. Ben Cayetano's candidacy for Honolulu mayor. But in announcing his run Thursday at a motorcycle shop off of the H-1 freeway, Cayetano made a point of not leading with his opposition to the project.

He waited 10 minutes before even mentioning the word in his opening speech. After first introducing and thanking the many family and friends that packed the second-floor conference room, he criticized the "reckless spending" at Honolulu Hale and said a series of politicians have failed to give proper attention to the aging sewer and water systems and the city's roads over "three decades of neglect."

"My opponents are going to try to say, 'Ben Cayetano is a one-issue candidate,'" he said. "They are the one-issue candidates. All Carlisle thinks about is rail. All Caldwell thinks about is rail."

Cayetano — with help from Cabinet-level advisors to former Mayors Jeremy Harris and Frank Fasi as well as current Honolulu City Council members Ann Kobayashi and Romy Cachola — promised to unveil a plan next week that addresses the costs of repairing and upgrading the city's sewer and water systems.

"If there is one issue in his head, it's money. It's the proper allocation of money by the city government. That has not been done," one of Cayetano's co-chairs, retired Judge Walter Heen, told Civil Beat after the press conference.

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