Ben and Vicky Cayetano and friends at his mayoral nomination signing.
Image: Matthew Kain

Through the years there have been many mayors who’ve aspired to be governor, but for the first time in Honolulu ’s history, a former governor is running for mayor. At Honolulu Hale on Friday, May 18, as he signed the nomination paperwork making him an official candidate for the 2012 race, Cayetano told the room that, back in January, he made his decision quickly. “I had a couple weeks to contemplate,” he said. “I sensed that there was a real need for a voice.”

Cayetano addressed the media outside Honolulu Hale and dished out level-headed criticism of the pro-rail forces which have rallied against his campaign. These include most notably [BeNiceBen.com], Pacific Resource Partnership and Move O’ahu Forward–a pro-rail group whose board of directors reads like a who’s who of corporate Hawaii and includes the heads of HEI , James Campbell Company, Castle & Cooke Hawaii, Alexander & Baldwin and the MacNaughton Group.

“This is about one thing,” Cayetano said of the rail project and its wealthy supporters. “This is about profits and greed.”

Noting that his campaign is undoubtedly outgunned in terms of money for advertising, the former governor said that he does have one big advantage. “We have the facts and the truth on our side,” Cayetano said.

He added that he plans to continue taking his message directly to the people in the public forums he’s been holding in communities across the island. Cayetano said the main questions he’s been fielding are: Will rail reduce traffic congestion, how many jobs will rail produce and what are the alternatives?

“We’re willing to answer any questions that people may have about our position, why we’re doing this and (our plans) for the future,” Cayetano said.

So… any questions?