Nonpartisans in Hawaii governor race disqualified


HONOLULU — Several nonpartisan candidates for Hawaii governor have been disqualified from the ballot because no nonpartisan candidates ran for lieutenant governor.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday that the Hawaii state constitution requires that the lieutenant governor be elected from the same political party as the governor. The state Supreme Court upheld that in 1996.

Attorney Aaron Schulaner of the state Office of Elections said the nonpartisan candidates’ names will still appear on the ballot but votes toward them won’t count. Voters will be given a notice about their status.

Candidates Misty Davis, Khis Dejean Caldwell and Richard Morse have been disqualified. Joseph Spatola voluntarily withdrew from the race.

Spatola said the state law unfairly favors Democrats and Republicans. He says the current system is confusing and biased.

“We really need to change that stuff because the way they have these election laws, it’s only going to keep the formal parties in power,” Spatola said.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige are running in a Democratic primary, while former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona is the top Republican running. Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is running as a member of the Independent Party.

Morse said he was told when he picked up his nomination papers that he wouldn’t proceed to the primary ballot without a running mate for lieutenant governor.

The Supreme Court ruling came after then-Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono challenged George Peabody’s candidacy for governor as a Libertarian. No Libertarian had filed to run for lieutenant governor.