Live audience declares Hannemann the debate winner

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Candidates for Governor face off in forum one week before election

See video coverage HERE

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – With exactly one week left until the general election, the candidates for Governor faced off in yet another forum.

At the start of the event hosted by the Sales and Marketing Executives International, Republican Duke Aiona said, “I’ve kind of lost count, but I think we’re close to 20 in terms of forums and debates.”

The candidates chuckled at how many times they’ve squared off in the Governor’s race for the general election.

“You get to know our candidates very well” said Democrat David Ige. He added with a laugh, “It’s gotten almost to where I can respond for them.”

The business audience got to vote immediately after the forum - the choice was clear.
The business audience got to vote immediately after the forum – the choice was clear.

Independent Mufi Hannemann explained why he is a fan of forums, saying “Forums is where you get to see the candidates side by side. It’s not through slick ads or negative advertising.”

Aiona said, “There comes a point where it becomes a little over saturated.”

He says it should be about quality, not quantity and suggests topical forums like the SMEI event that focused on the economy. “Just go by topics and I think that would be much more informative and valuable to the public” added Aiona.

Ige actually regrets not holding a forum on Kauai. He said, “I’m not the most eloquent and I know that I might be at a disadvantage at these sessions but i still believe in access and public access and public having the right to see us regardless of what the setting is.”

After the forum, the audience voted that Hannemann won, Aiona came in second, and Ige finished last.

That’s exactly opposite of how they rank in most political polls.

The three will meet for their last forum on Thursday. Of course they agree that Tuesday’s election is the only poll that matters.

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