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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:20 a.m., Thursday, June 20, 2002

Dods earns praise from Cayetano

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

Gov. Ben Cayetano last night said BancWest Chairman Walter Dods is "well-qualified to run as governor."

Dods, one of Hawai'i's most prominent and influential businessmen, has said he is seriously considering running for governor as a Democrat. Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono, state Rep. Ed Case and former Republican senator and city managing director D.G. "Andy" Anderson are also running for governor as Democrats. Dods has never held elective office.

Rumors that Dods' would jump into the governor's race have been circulating since Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris abruptly withdrew from the race. Political observers say some prominent Democrats have been searching for another candidate because they were doubtful the remaining three could beat Republican front-runner Linda Lingle in the general election.

Cayetano, who returns from Japan today, said Dods "has been a highly successful and respected business and community leader.

"He is a local boy who made it the hard way," Cayetano said. "If he does run, it is because he cares deeply about the future of Hawai'i. He understands Hawai'i politics very well and helped me in every one of my statewide elections. If he runs, he will add to the fine roster of Democratic candidates already running for governor, giving the voters still another choice."

Cayetano, however, said he would remain neutral in the primary election but that if Dods runs and wins the primary election, "I will go all out for him as I would for the others."