In a news release issued on Tuesday, Lingle praised outgoing U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka.
Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Lee was also named as Campaign Manager.
Former Governor Linda Lingle, Hawai‘i’s sixth elected governor, today announced her candidacy for the United States Senate in the 2012 election. The open seat was created when Senator Daniel Akaka stated he would not seek a fifth term.
“I always enjoyed working with Senator Akaka during my eight years as Governor,” Lingle said in her announcement. “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,” she added.
“I am very appreciative of the encouragement I have received from our residents across the state about my run for Hawai‘i’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 Hawai‘i in Washington,” said Governor Lingle. “If elected, first, foremost and always, my decisions will put Hawai‘i people first as we decide the critical issues facing our state and country.”
Building on her experience as a five-term council member on Maui, two-term Mayor of Maui and eight years as Governor, Linda Lingle will also bring her strong record of fiscal accountability and executive experience in economic development, stimulating job creation, international relations, clean energy and visitor industry issues to Washington.
Among her key policy achievements as Governor, Linda Lingle was able to gain wide support for programs and initiatives like the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education expansion for students statewide, improved mental health services, environmental protection initiatives, a big reduction in the number of children in foster care and a drastic reduction in child re-abuse rates, business and economic development and affordable housing construction, especially for the Native Hawaiian community.
On the Big Island of Hawai‘i, Governor Lingle helped establish the second Youth Challenge Academy in 2010 at Kulani, serving the at-risk youth population of the neighbor islands. Following the 2006 Kiholo Bay earthquake, the Lingle Administration oversaw the restoration of the Kohala and Hamakua water supply to area farmers. In 2005, State Civil Defense coordinated the shipping of equipment containers filled with emergency shelter supplies and emergency roofing repair materials to the counties, including four sets to the Big Island to ensure the supplies are in place prior to an emergency.
Governor Lingle will crisscross the state over the next 13 months to meet with residents, citizen groups, businesses and county leaders, as well as Hawai‘i’s military and veterans to discuss the issues that are of the highest priority to them at a national level.
“There is so much that needs to be done in Washington for our residents, and I want my fellow citizens to know their voice will be carried to the nation’s Capitol and their issues will be discussed at the highest level,” said Governor Lingle. “The people deserve to have the best representation possible in Washington and I am honored that so many of our residents have encouraged me to be their voice.”
Major General Robert Lee, U.S. Army retired, former State Adjutant General and head of Hawai‘i’s National Guard during the Lingle Administration from 2002-2010, will serve as the campaign manager for the Linda Lingle Senate Committee.
“I’m excited to bring my local, national and international leadership experience to this important campaign, which I know will complement an incredibly talented team. Governor Lingle is the right person at the right time with the right approach to serve in Washington. Her balanced, practical approach to governing is what we need in this time of uncertainty for our state and nation,” said Maj. General Lee.
Since the conclusion of her two terms as Governor, Linda Lingle has served as one of six founding members of the Governors Council at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a national public policy and advocacy organization in Washington, DC. The Council is composed of immediate former governors of both parties who have achieved a record of bipartisan success.
Governor Lingle first served the people of Hawai‘i as a member of the Maui County Council from 1981-1991, and later as Mayor of Maui from 1991-1999. She was elected Governor in 2002 and won an unprecedented majority of votes in all of Hawai‘i’s 51 House Districts in her 2006 re-election campaign. Click here for a full biography.