HONOLULU—On Friday, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 142 announced its endorsement of acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell in the race for Honolulu mayor. Caldwell said his focus is on creating jobs as quickly as possible.
“[Kirk Caldwell] will serve the best interests of working families in the community,” said Donna Domingo, ILWU Local 142 vice president.
The ILWU Local 142 is the state’s largest private sector union with over 22,000 members in the longshore, tourism, agriculture, and general trades industries.
ILWU officers said Caldwell brings “local values” to the mayor’s office and that the union has worked well with him in the past.
Caldwell told The Hawaii Independent that job creation is one of the central issues concerning the ILWU and all Honolulu residents.
“People are hanging on by their fingernails trying to live in a place that’s so expensive,” Caldwell said. “My number one focus is jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Job creation will rely on the City’s Department of Planning and Permitting to get its contracts out quickly, Caldwell explained. He said everything from road repairs to the many projects involved with Honolulu’s rail transit will create the jobs necessary to stimulate the economy.
Caldwell previously represented the 24th Representative District in the State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008. Caldwell served as House Labor and Public Employment Committee chairman and as House Majority Leader. He resigned from his House seat to run for Ann Kobayashi’s seat on the Honolulu City Council in July 2008—a situation that left him neither seat in the end.
Caldwell would later be invited to join former Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s cabinet as the City’s Managing Director. In July, Caldwell became acting mayor when Hannemann resigned to run for governor.
Earlier this month, Caldwell received endorsements from the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association and The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.
Also this month, mayoral candidate and former City Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle received an endorsement from the Hawaii Carpenters Union.
Candidates in the nonpartisan mayor’s race currently include Caldwell, Carlisle, Councilman Rod Tam, and University of Hawaii engineering professor Panos Prevedouros.
Councilman Donavan Dela Cruz dropped out of the mayor’s race on Thursday to instead pursue the vacant State senate seat being left by Sen. Robert Bunda, who is running for lieutenant governor.
The Honolulu City Council set Saturday, September 18—the same day as the State primary elections—to be the special election day for the offices of mayor and prosecuting attorney.