Former Gov. Linda Lingle dropped by the Perry & Price radio show Tuesday morning and made it official: she will enter the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
Lingle, who would join four other governors in the Senate if elected, will stress her chief executive experience in her campaign. She described governors as “very practical people because we had to get things done as governors.”
She also said she would be an independent voice for Hawaii. “I want to be real clear on this point: I don’t work for (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell, and for that matter I don’t work for President Obama. I work for the people of Hawaii,” she said.
“And if there is a law being proposed, whether it’s from the president or from Mitch McConnell, if it’s good for Hawaii I’m for it. If it’s not good for us, I’m against it regardless of who introduces it.”
Lingle said her campaign manager will be Robert Lee, the former state adjutant general.
Lingle will face John Carroll, an attorney and former state lawmaker, in the GOP primary. U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case are the Democratic contenders to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who is not seeking another term next year.
From Lingle’s official announcement:
I always enjoyed working with Senator Akaka during my eight years as Governor. He always treated me with aloha even though we belonged to different political parties. Senator Akaka embodied the spirit of Aloha in Washington, D.C. and served the people of Hawaii with grace and dignity for 34 years.
I am very appreciative of the encouragement I have received from our residents across the state about my run for Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat. Because of this support, and after much thoughtful deliberation, I am energized and enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve all the people of Hawaii in Washington. If elected, first, foremost and always, my decisions will put Hawaii people first as we decide the critical issues facing our state and country.
National Democrats will highlight Lingle’s ties to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Lingle, who knew Palin from the Republican Governors Association, spoke warmly of Palin when she was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2008 and helped introduce her at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
From Matt Canter, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:
Today marks Linda Lingle’s biggest announcement since she nominated Sarah Palin for Vice President, an event that typifies Lingle’s partisan Republican approach to governing. Now Lingle wants to go to Washington to become a rubber-stamp for Mitch McConnell and the Republican party whose sole priority is to defeat President Obama at every turn.