Pair get head start on prosecutor campaigns
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Advertiser Staff Writer
Two longtime public officials are running for Honolulu prosecutor even though there isn't an official job vacancy yet.
State Labor Director Darwin Ching yesterday said he will resign effective June 15 to focus on a campaign for prosecutor.
He joins Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Franklin "Don" Pacarro Jr., who announced last October he will seek the top prosecutor's job this fall.
Prosecutor Peter Carlisle has said he will run for mayor either this year or in 2012, whenever Mayor Mufi Hannemann leaves office.
Hannemann is expected to announce his candidacy for governor in the coming days.
Ching, 63, was appointed head of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations by Gov. Linda Lingle in 2007.
He was a deputy city prosecutor from 1981 to 1988, including time as head of the white-color crime unit. He left to go into private practice.
"Now I'm returning to my first love," Ching said. "I've got a passion and commitment in terms of fighting crime."
He also is a former teacher and one-time member of the Board of Education.
Pacarro, 53, has been in the prosecutor's office since 1986. He has served as chief of the Trials Division for the past three years.
Carlisle has stated publicly he supports Pacarro's bid, although he has not endorsed him.
Pacarro said yesterday he believes he has "the support of the office."
The deadline to file for elective office in Hawai'i is July 20.