Duke Aiona

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Duke Aiona
James Aiona, Lt. Governor of Hawaii,speaks to survivors.jpg
Candidate for
Governor of Hawaii
PartyRepublican
PredecessorMazie Hirono
Prior offices
Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
December 4, 2002 – December 6, 2010
Education
High schoolSaint Louis School
Bachelor'sUniversity of the Pacific
J.D.University of Hawaii at Mānoa
Personal
BirthdayJune 8, 1955
Place of birthPearl City, Hawaii
ProfessionJudge/Consultant
Websites
Personal website
Campaign website
James R. "Duke" Aiona, Jr. (born June 8, 1955, in Pearl City, Hawaii), is the former Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, having held the office from 2002 until 2010.

Aiona is a Republican candidate for Governor of Hawaii in the 2014 elections.[1] He is seeking the Republican nomination in the August 9 primary. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Aiona first entered politics in 2002. He admitted that he did not join the Republican Party until just prior to the start of his primary campaign. His cousin, Sam Aiona, had served as a Republican member of the state legislature. Duke Aiona ran in the Hawaii Republican Party contest for the nomination to join the gubernatorial ticket led by former Mayor of Maui Linda Lingle. Aiona won and advanced to the general election in November of that year. In December, Aiona was sworn in at an inauguration ceremony at the Hawaii State Capitol rotunda to become the state's 10th Lieutenant Governor.

Aiona got his nickname "Duke," named after Dodgers center-fielder Duke Snider, from his father, James Aiona, Sr. He is of Chinese, Portuguese and Hawaiian descent.

Prior to his election as lieutenant governor in 2002, he was a jurist, serving both as an attorney and a judge for the state.

He ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Hawaii in 2010, losing to Democrat Neil Abercrombie in the November 2, 2010 general election.

Biography

Aiona was born in Pearl City, Hawaii.[2] He attended Saint Louis School, a local Roman Catholic academy of the Diocese of Honolulu. Upon graduating high school, Aiona left the island to pursue a bachelor of arts degree in political science, which he received from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California in 1977. Aiona returned to Hawaii and graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in 1981.

Aiona began his career as an attorney in the public sector holding various positions in the City & County of Honolulu. He was deputy prosecuting attorney for the state of Hawaii under Charles Marsland. In 1990, Aiona was appointed by Hawaii Governor John D. Waihee III to the Hawaii State Judiciary. He became a judge of the Hawaii State Family Courts and had exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving legal minors involving delinquency, status offenses, abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, adoption, guardianships and detention among others. Aiona also oversaw cases of domestic relations involving divorce, child support and custody matters.

He was known for having upset defense attorneys for the way he talked to the juvenile defendants. He believed he was supplying them with discipline. "Our young people want someone to discipline them and tell them what's right and what's wrong," he said. "They really search for that and they really appreciate that."

In 1993, Aiona was appointed to the First Circuit Court in Honolulu. The Hawaii State Circuit Courts are the primary civil and criminal courts in Hawaii. Aiona became famous for his tough rulings for drug offenses. Aiona retired in 1998 to work in the private sector.

Education

  • Saint Louis School
  • Bachelor of Arts, political science - University of the Pacific (1977)
  • Juris Doctor - University of Hawaii at Mānoa (1981)

Political career

Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii (2002-2010)

Aiona was elected Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii in the 2002 general election, on a ticket with Republican gubernatorial nominee, former Mayor of Maui, Linda Lingle. On December 2, 2010, Aiona was sworn in as Hawaii's 10th Lieutenant Governor at an inauguration ceremony at the Hawaii State Capitol rotunda. He and Lingle ran together again in 2010, winning re-election to their second terms in the general election on November 2, 2010.

Controversies

Personal driver's traffic violation

In 2005, Aiona's personal driver was caught on camera in breaking a new state law right after Aiona had made a public presentation about that same very law. Local ABC affiliate KITV reporter Keoki Kerr reported that after a press conference about a state law that made it illegal to drive a vehicle through a crosswalk with a pedestrian in the crosswalk, news cameras caught Aiona's personal driver almost hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk.

Temperament

He was known as having a temper, but, according to his wife, he mellowed with age. [1] He was questioned about his temper at his confirmation hearing for the state circuit court bench. Judiciary committee member State Senator Matt Matsunaga asked if Aiona recalled getting kicked out of a lawyer's league basketball game in the late 1980s. Matsunaga was satisfied with the explanation that it was a misunderstanding and voted in favor of the appointment.[3]

Elections

2014

See also: Hawaii gubernatorial election, 2014

Aiona is running for election to the office of Governor of Hawaii. He is seeking the Republican nomination in the primary on August 9.[1] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Race background

Democratic incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie is seeking re-election in 2014. The first term chief executive is running on tenterhooks for his second term. With wavering approval numbers, key endorsement losses and the emergence of formidable challengers in both the primary and general election, Abercrombie's prospects heading into the August 9 primary are uncertain. In June, Real Clear Politics rated the race as a "Toss-Up."[4] Around the same time, the Cook Political Report gave the Hawaii Governor's race a "Solid Democratic" rating.[5]

Abercrombie will face a strong challenger in the August primary: State Sen. David Ige. A state lawmaker in Hawaii since 1986, Ige has represented district 16 in the state senate for nearly two decades and currently chairs the chamber's Ways and Means Committee. Ige's campaign has been endorsed by ex-governors Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi, both considered former allies of Abercrombie, as well as the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA).[6][7]

The apparent defections of Cayetano and Ariyoshi could stem from Abercrombie's controversial decision in December 2012 to appoint his Lieutenant Governor, Brian E. Schatz (D), to fill the open Senate seat left by the death of veteran U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D). Abercrombie denied Inouye's deathbed wish that U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa be appointed to succeed him, tapping Schatz instead.[8][9] Abercrombie was required to appoint one of three individuals submitted by the state party of the incumbent, and Hanabusa - in addition to being Inouye's stated preference - had topped the list of early contenders, therefore the governor's call angered some members of the party.[10][11][12] After the announcement that she had been picked over for the Senate post, Hanabusa considered a bid to take on Abercrombie for re-election in 2014.[13][14] Although Hanabusa ultimately decided to pursue a full term in Inouye's seat in the 2014 election, there could be residual ill-will among some of Hawaii's Democratic elite toward Abercrombie as he approaches a possible second term.

In the months leading up to the June 3 candidate filing deadline, Abercrombie's campaign appeared to be in jeopardy. Despite securing the endorsement of fellow Democrat and Hawaii-native President Barack Obama, roughly half of the polls showed the incumbent trailing Ige in the Democratic primary.[15]

Even more alarming to Abercrombie is the candidacy of former Hawaii Lieutenant Governor and 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee Duke Aiona. Aiona launched his second consecutive bid for the governor's office in early 2014. He hopes to stage a general election re-match with Abercrombie, who beat him four years ago this upcoming November. Recent polls have underscored the threat Aiona's presence in the race poses to Abercrombie's re-election chances.[15]

The last time a sitting Hawaii Governor ran for re-election and failed was in 1962.[16] Republican William Francis Quinn was Hawaii's first governor as well as its first and only lame duck governor. Quinn sought re-election in 1962, but voters went instead with his Democratic opponent, John Anthony Burns.


Polls

Governor of Hawaii - Democratic Primary
Poll Neil Abercrombie* David IgeUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
February 1-11, 2014
47%38%14%+/-4.3528
Honolulu Civil Beat/MRG
February 12-15, 2014
37%37%26%+/-3.1643
Honolulu Civil Beat/MRG
June 7-9, 2014
37%48%15%+/-3.0729
AVERAGES 40.33% 41% 18.33% +/-3.47 633.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org
Governor of Hawaii - General Election
Poll Neil Abercrombie* (D) Duke Aiona (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
February 1-11, 2014
40%48%12%+/-3.9642
Honolulu Civil Beat/MRG
June 7-9, 2014
27%33%22%+/-3.01,078
AVERAGES 33.5% 40.5% 17% +/-3.45 860
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Note: Not displayed in the table above, Poll #2 also asked registered voters about Independent candidate Mufi Hannemann. In this poll, 18% respondents answered that they would vote for Hannemann over both Abercrombie and Aiona.

2010

See also: Hawaii gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

Aiona faced Neil Abercrombie (D), Daniel H. Cunningham (Free Energy) and Tom Pollard (Non-Partisan) in the general election on November 2, 2010. Abercrombie won the election, with 58% of the vote to Aiona's 41%.[17]

Personal

In 1977, while attending law school, he met Vivian Welsh at a dance in Waikīkī. They married in 1982.[2] They have two sons, Kulia and Makana; and two daughters, Ohulani and Kaimilani. In 1998, he retired from his position as a state circuit judge, stating that the $87,000 annual salary was not enough to support his family. In 2005, the annual salary he received as lieutenant governor was $90,041.

Recent news

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See also

External links

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Campaign links:

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The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine was used to recall this version of the website from November 4, 2010.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Duke Aiona for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed February 18, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Project Vote Smart, "Biography of Duke Aiona, Jr.," accessed January 30, 2014
  3. The Honolulu Star Advertiser, "Special election 2002," October 24, 2002
  4. Real Clear Politics, "2014 Governor Races, Ratings Map," accessed June 30, 2014
  5. Cook Political Report, "2014 Governors Race Ratings," May 16, 2014
  6. khon2.com, "HSTA endorses David Ige for governor," February 16, 2014
  7. The Star Advertiser, "Abercrombie loses support of former ally Cayetano," November 17, 2013
  8. Washington Post, "Gov. Abercrombie to appoint Inouye’s replacement," December 17, 2012
  9. The Washington Post, "Hawaii governor picks Brian Schatz for Inouye’s seat," December 26, 2012
  10. WMTW.com, "Inouye gave preference for successor before he died," December 18, 2012
  11. CBS news, "Inouye replacement to be named Wednesday," December 24, 2012
  12. Civil Beat, "Inouye's Last Wish Is Abercrombie's Biggest Burden," December 24, 2012
  13. The Hill, "Source: Hanabusa receiving 'a lot of pressure' to run against Abercrombie," December 27, 2012
  14. KHON2, "EXCLUSIVE: Hanabusa says 2014 run for governor, Senate, House all on table," January 14, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 Honolulu Civil Beat, "Ige Holds Healthy Lead Over Abercrombie in Hawaii Governor’s Race," June 12, 2014
  16. Honolulu Civil Beat, "Ige Holds Healthy Lead Over Abercrombie in Hawaii Governor’s Race," June 12, 2014
  17. "GOP Now ‘Endangered Species’ in Hawaii: Democrats Win Big, Taking Governorship, Congressional Seat from GOP," Hawaii Reporter, November 3, 2010