Senator Gary Hooser – “Why Me, Why Now – Lieutenant Governor”

Submitted by Sen. Gary Hooser:

For some newspaper columnists, bloggers and armchair political pundits, the office of Lieutenant Governor seems to have become the preferred whipping boy. It is almost fashionable to belittle, deride and take snarky swings at LG candidates. “Why would anyone possibly aspire to the ‘do nothing and meaningless’ office of Lieutenant Governor” they often ask, implying that those seeking this office are somehow misguided and/or downright clueless.

Rarely do the commentators state the obvious.  Historically, the person who holds the office of Lieutenant Governor has gone on to become Governor, and/or serve in Congress.  So this supposedly “meaningless” office clearly positioned some to make bigger and better contributions over the long haul. The dynamics of Hawaii’s present political landscape, further accentuate this potential…

Aside from the potential to grow and serve at a higher level, there is also a real opportunity to leverage the LG position into one that is meaningful and fulfilling.  There are three primary “powers” that every office holder has but few use to their maximum potential:  the power of the soapbox, the power to convene and the power to shine a light.

The power of the soapbox

The Lieutenant Governor can be an effective public policy advocate if he or she so chooses. While our current LG has chosen to stay silent on almost every major public policy issue before the State, I will not do the same.  My goal is to fully use the platform of the LG’s office to be a strong and effective advocate for progressive public policy.

The power to convene

The Governor is often pre-occupied with the day-to-day task of running State government and the part-time legislature is consumed with thousands of Bills during the annual legislative session. The Lieutenant Governor however has the ability to “take care of tomorrow, today”.  The LG has the ability to convene the best and the brightest and to develop and propose comprehensive solutions to complex and longstanding challenges such as achieving educational excellence, energy independence, economic revitalization and achieving true sustainability as a state.

The power to shine a light

A Lieutenant Governor who knows the value of teamwork, but is independent and willing to speak-out on issues that may lurk in the dark corners of government and the private sector, is an important insurance policy that Hawaii residents need.  Only the extremely naïve, those on the very inside of the underside of the good ole boy network and perhaps those who choose to be blind will refuse to see the value of having an independent and outspoken LG.

My life experience has prepared me well for the responsibility that lies ahead.  Living the past 30 years on Kauai has taught me the value of “keeping the country, country”.  More than 20 years of business experience translates to an understanding and respect for the value of entrepreneurship and free enterprise, and a healthy abhorrence for excessive government regulation. Raising a family and being the primary caregiver to my wife’s elderly parents has given me insight into a world that often defies reason.  A degree in Public Administration, four years on the Kauai County Council and now entering my eighth year in the Hawaii Senate with four of those years as Majority Leader provide me with a solid understanding of how government works – or at least, how it is supposed to work.

At 55, I am too young and too old to sit back in the office and twiddle my thumbs waiting for the Governor to move on.  I want to be Hawaii’s next Lieutenant Governor because I want to make a positive difference in our community, I want to grow in my service and serve at the highest level for which I am capable and qualified.  At this point in time, the office of Hawaii Lieutenant Governor fits and I am ready if the people will have me.

Sen. Gary Hooser

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I do this to keep the spammers away * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.