Get ready – Compare their education
Two distinct personality types enter the Democratic gubernatorial race in spring 2010 in Hawaii. Both stress leadership skills and values.
Neil Abercrombie stepped down from his position as Hawaii Representative Congressman this spring to run for governor. He grew up in Schenectady, New York with one-brother and Caucasian parents. His educational background includes a Bachelors degree in Sociology from Union College, New York, a Masters in Sociology and a Ph.D in American Studies from University of Hawaii.
Mufi Hannemann continues to function as Mayor of Honolulu while he campaigns for governor. Mufi’s parents of German and Samoan decent raised him in Honolulu, Hawaii with six brothers and sisters. He attended Harvard University followed by a Fulbright Scholarship to Victoria University in New Zealand. Interestingly, Mr. Hannemann uses his mother’s maiden name as his surname.
Get set – Contrast their backgrounds
Neil reports 30 years of combined service at the local, state and federal government level (Honolulu City Council, both chambers of the Hawaii State Legislature and in the U.S. House of Representatives). He describes a variety of other working experiences including waiter, locker desk clerk, custodian, construction program director, probation officer and teacher. Neil relates well to people from all social stratifications in life. Neil occupied the position of Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces the last 3 years in Congress. This strategic rank placed him over the U.S. Army and Air Force operations and responsibility for a budget of over $100 million.
Mufi functioned in private sector positions of a high school teacher and a vice president for marketing and public affairs for a corporate company (C. Brewer & Co.). He served as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of the Interior and worked a short time in the U.S. Department of Labor. His public service work at the State and local level included chairperson of various task forces for prior Governor Waihee, City Councilman for six years, and as Mayor of Honolulu for five years.
Go – Check their support of significant public issues and listen to their speeches over the next few months
As a public servant, Neil built up a knowledge base on noteworthy civic issues including education, the economy, health care, the environment, energy, transportation and housing. The webpage, Abercrombie for Governor, delineates his accomplishments and visions.
In the public arena, Mufi has exerted an effect on local issues of public safety, road repair, sewage, parks, transportation and government accountability. He indicates on his Hannemann for Governor webpage that he supports two other critical issues (Economic growth and development and protection of the aina [land]), but has no description of these core values on his internet site. His webpage outlines his record of accomplishments and goals.
Between now and September, voters of Hawaii need to read and listen to the viewpoints of these two politicians. Only then, can each voter in the State make an informed decision on whom to cast his or her vote.