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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 30, 2010

4 more unions back Hannemann's potential run for Hawaii governor

Advertiser Staff

Even though Mayor Mufi Hannemann has yet to officially declare his run for Hawaii governor, he won the support of several unions today.

Members of Hawaii's Sheet Metal Workers Local 293, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District 50, Drywall Tapers Finishers Local 1944 and Operating Engineers Local 3 declared their support for Hannemann's potential run for governor, saying that electing him to the governor's office would enhance the chances of success for the rail transit project.

"We are confident that the mayor will do all he can to make sure the rail project is a success," said Lynn Kinney, Business Manager and Treasurer of District Council 50, in a statement. "What Hawaii needs is a governor who has the experience and track record of initiating big projects and making things happen."

The unions who endorsed the mayor today are among the 12 who signed the Rapid Transit Stabilization Agreement (RSTA) last year, a commitment that guarantees no work slowdowns or stoppages during the construction of the rail project. 

Joe O'Donnell, business manager and treasurer of the Iron Worker, said in a statement: "Beyond rail, there is the benefit of Transit Orientated Development, which creates jobs and provides a much needed financial stimulus." 

The Iron Workers Local 625 were the first union to formally support Hannemann's potential run for governor.

Hannemann said he was humbled by the support. "I truly believe that the rail project is going to be one of the most far reaching and significant projects to revitalize and stabilize Hawaii's economy," he said in a statement. "I have worked and will continue to work tirelessly to bring this project to completion. Anyone suggesting that I would in any way shirk my responsibilities is clearly motivated by politics and nothing more. I want to reassure everyone that the rail project is going to move forward."

Combined, the unions who endorsed Hannemann today have more than 10,000 active and retired members. 

Hannemann's gubernatorial candidacy has also been endorsed by the ILWU Local 142, Iron Workers Local 625, and the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO), who've pledged the support of their more than 20,000 members.