Lt. Gov. Josh Green has officially announced his run for governor.
He made the announcement in an interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise on Thursday.
“I’m running because we need leaders we can trust and who care about people,” he said.
Green, a Democrat, has served as lieutenant governor since 2018 and emerged as a leading voice throughout the coronavirus pandemic given his medical background as an emergency room physician.
“It has really been an extraordinary time from the small sacrifices of wearing masks to getting vaccinated, you’ve been extraordinary,” he said, thanking the people of Hawaii in his announcement. “People going back to work, we’ll never forget it.”
Previously, Green served in both the state House of Representatives and Senate, and as an ER doctor in rural areas of Hawaii Island.
Green joins former First Lady and businesswoman Vicky Cayetano on the Democratic side in the race for governor. Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell is also a likely contender but has not officially announced he’s running yet.
U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele also told Hawaii News Now he wouldn’t rule out a run for governor.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Big Island business consultant Paul Morgan and Hawaii veteran and US Indo-Pacific Command program manager Lynn Mariano have announced their candidacies. Other possible candidates include developer Peter Savio, UFC legend BJ Penn.
As Hawaii News Now reported earlier this month, Green has taken an early lead among all gubernatorial candidates in the money race, raising more than $774,000 during the second half of 2021, giving him more than $1.1 million in cash on hand.
The primary election will be held Aug. 13.