Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, the Republican candidate for governor, appears to have picked up the support of a sitting Democratic state lawmaker: State Rep. Roland Sagum III of Kauai.
The Aiona campaign claims Sagum, who lost in the Democratic primary to county park worker Daynette “Dee” Morikawa, attended one of its events on the Garden Island.
From the Aiona campaign:
Democratic State Rep. Roland Sagum attended a Connecting Communities event on Kaua‘i.
“Duke is the best person to serve as the next Governor of Hawai‘i,” said Rep. Sagum. “He is a true leader with integrity and good judgment who is not afraid to make tough decisions, and he has bold plans that will move Hawai‘i forward; that’s why I am willing to cross party lines to show my support and help elect Duke as our next Governor.”
Sagum did not return several telephone calls today left directly and though a spokeswoman for House Democrats.
As Honolulu City Councilman Gary Okino has learned, endorsing a Republican is a violation of the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s constitution (Section 8b 1) and can be grounds for reprimand, censure or expulsion.
Sagum, on his campaign website, gives a hint to his philosophy: “Politics, today, should not be about popularity, but rather intention.”
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, the state’s leading Democrat, got a pass for his loyalty to his friend and strategic ally — the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican — but that was a relationship that spanned four decades.
Other local Democrats have had to explain why they crossed party lines.