Keith Amemiya takes part in the race for lieutenant governor
Nov 7 – Former mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya is now running in the crowded Democratic field for lieutenant governor in 2022.
“Our state has not had a leadership for years and it has to change,” Ame miya told the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
He called the lieutenant governor’s office “an important position that … can have a positive impact on people across the state.”
Amemiya lost the non-partisan race for Honolulu Mayor to Rick Blangiardi last year. But Amemiya said he was encouraged that 149,735 Oahu voters voted him in the mayor’s race, compared to the 157,879 Oahu votes cast in the Democratic primary for all five lieutenant governors combined.
Both Amemiya and Blan Giardi ran as first-time candidates from the perspective of an outside government and emerged from a first group of 15 main candidates, which included former US MP Colleen Hanabusa, former Mayor Mufi Hannemann and then City Councilor Kym Pine .
“Voters are looking for candidates who have a fresh and different perspective than long-time politicians,” Amemiya said of the 2022 elections. “And they are looking for people who are problem solvers, who can build consensus and get the job done.
“My job would be to support the governor and his initiatives. Our state is facing so many challenges that no one can tackle them alone.”
He named affordable housing, the diversification of the economy, and support for public education as key issues he would focus on.
As the executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, Amemiya has become a household name among sports families in the islands. He counts accomplishments like helping raise funds for school programs and bringing factions together to create a national high school football championship.
Amemiya is now the Executive Director of the Central Pacific Bank Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Central Pacific Bank.
He and his wife Bonny have a son in college.
The winner of the democratic primary election for lieutenant governor only needs to generate a majority of voters to go to the general election in November 2022.
The so far open seat of the lieutenant governor has attracted former Senator Jill Tokuda, who represented the Windward side and in the 2018 Democratic primary against the current Lt. Gov. Josh Green lost; former city council chairman Ikaika Anderson, who stepped down from the Windward Council three months prior to the end of his term in 2020; State Representative Sylvia Luke (D, Punchbowl-Pauoa-Nuuanu), who serves as Chair of the House of Representatives’ powerful Finance Committee; and Sherry Menor-McNamara, President and CEO of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce.