August 16th, 2011

Former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona said on Tuesday that he would not run in the Republican primary in the 2nd Congressional District.

Aiona had said earlier this year that he had not ruled out any options for 2012. State GOP officials as recently as last week declined to discourage talk of a potential Aiona campaign for Congress. But other sources said privately that Aiona was not interested.

The former lieutenant governor, who now works at Saint Louis School, released an announcement on his website that indicated the only race he is looking at is another shot at Washington Place in 2014:

I’m deeply humbled by the people who ask me to run again for elected office. I hear the call every day, and it’s worth careful consideration.

I take seriously any pathway to public service. It is a decision that requires the full support of my family and those who would join our campaign.

While much recent attention has been paid to issues at the national level, especially concerning out-of-control spending and the ever-increasing national debt, I have no desire to leave my home in Hawaii and relocate to Washington, D.C.

I will not run for Congress in 2012.

After eight years of service to the people of Hawaii as Lieutenant Governor, and many more as a city prosecutor, city attorney and state judge, I’m right where I want to be – helping to develop Hawaii’s leaders of tomorrow.

As executive vice president of development and recruitment for Saint Louis School, I’m blessed to build on the good work of my mother in education by helping develop a school of opportunity where parents, students and the local community can be a part of the story.

I have always been passionate about education, and I’m proud to be a part of the Saint Louis School ohana.

When the time is right, I will decide whether to run for Governor in 2014. Right now, I’m happy doing my part to help the young men of Saint Louis School become tomorrow’s leaders.

One Response to “(Un)ambition”

  1. Kolea:

    I think Aiona made the correct choice. It is sometimes hard for a professional politician to resist the siren call of another campaign. The dynamics today are such that Aiona would be compelled to either align himself with the Tea Party-dominated Republicans or to “distance himself” from them. Because he is still smarting from his too close identification with hardcore political Christians, it would be wise for him to avoid anything which further brands him as a rightwing ideologue.

    His best shot PROBABLY is to wait, as he has decided, for the 2014 Governor’s race and work to re-package himself as a less “knee-jerk” conservative. He should make special effort to engage in staged events which make him look “thoughtful,” “coimpassionate” and “conciliatory” in order to improve his public image. It might work.

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