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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 1, 2010

Berg runs for lieutenant governor

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

State Rep. Lyla Berg

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State Rep. Lyla Berg, an educator and business consultant, will formally announce today that she will enter the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

Berg, D-18th (Kuli'ou'ou, Niu Valley, 'Äina Haina), said she would focus her campaign on education — from the development of early childhood education to workforce training and senior services.

"I also believe that in order to improve Hawai'i's economy and our quality of life, we must all work together to create a more just society in which everyone has an opportunity to succeed and to find fulfillment," she said. "And we must begin to eliminate the traditional political barriers — the gridlock — that so often prevents new ideas and people from being included in meaningful dialogue that could lead to real problem-solving and solutions."

Berg, 58, a former principal at Kailua Intermediate School who founded Kids Voting Hawai'i, was elected to the House in 2004. She is the vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee.

Berg is among several Democrats in the primary for lieutenant governor.

The other candidates are former state lawmaker and Democratic Party of Hawai'i chairman Brian Schatz; state Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser, D-7th (Kaua'i, Ni'ihau); state Sen. Robert Bunda, D-22nd (North Shore, Wahiawä); state Sen. Norman Sakamoto, D-15th (Waimalu, Airport, Salt Lake); and state Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu, D-41st (Waipahu, Village Park, Waikele).

Berg has to give up her House seat for the campaign, opening up a possibility for Republicans to take back the East Honolulu district. A Republican, the late Bertha Leong, represented the district before she lost to Berg.

Today is the first day political candidates can file for office at the state Office of Elections and at county offices. The filing deadline is July 20.