|Posted on: Wednesday, October 2, 2002
ILWU endorses Hirono ticket
By Treena Shapiro
Advertiser Capitol Bureau
After withholding official support in the primary election campaign, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union yesterday announced it endorses the Democratic ticket of Mazie Hirono for governor and Matt Matsunaga for lieutenant governor.
Local 142 president Eusebio Lapenia said the union decided to not endorse any candidates for either seat during the primary because "we did not want to fragment the ILWU, because some of our members wanted different candidates."
However, for the general election, the state's largest private-sector union has pledged "the works" sign-waving, going door-to-door, making phone calls and educating members on the issues, Lapenia said. "It's not a paper endorsement. We go out there and we bust our okoles."
The ILWU has worked with Hirono for 22 years, since she first ran for the state House of Representatives, Lapenia said. "Our relationship with her has been very good. We believe that her record when she was a legislator, as far as the labor organizations, our labor organization, was excellent."
Matsunaga, with 10 years in the state Senate, is still a relative newcomer, Lapenia said, "but his dad Sparky has a long, long history working with the ILWU and I believe Matt is following in that direction."
Hirono said, "I respect the ILWU for their leadership and making sure our working people and our working families are protected. We represent the team that best represents their concerns and issues."