Crowley Plans Mayoral Run in 2016July 14, 2015, 3:33 PM HST (Updated February 16, 2016, 11:06 AM)
A Hilo native who has run for Congress multiple times announced Monday his plans to run for Mayor of Hawai’i County in 2016.
David “Kawika” Crowley, 64, said he will be setting up an exploratory committee in the upcoming weeks to secure his decision, but is confident he’ll be running next year.
“I’ll say it for the first time. It’s a done deal,” he said.
Crowley ran for the 2nd District U.S. Representative seat a few years ago and last year tried again to take on Democrat Tulsi Gabbard during the election. Both attempts were unsuccessful. He also previously ran for mayor in 1991.
The self-proclaimed constitutional conservative is anti-big government and plans to push for many changes on the island, including the arduous goal of dividing the area into two separate counties.
“We are worlds apart,” he said of the west and east sides of the Big Island. “It’s a different world.”
While it’s not the mayor’s jurisdiction to separate the island into two separate counties, he said he imagines that if elected, he would help to form a long-range plan and would create a committee that would start evaluating the division process.
“There are a lot of factors. I imagine it could take three, four, five to 10 years to happen but I’d like to facilitate and begin the process,” he said.
Also on Crowley’s agenda is to see an increase in the agriculture industry on the island. He wants to see more acres available for farming and believes that all veterans should be provided with one-acre lots at a $1 per year lease. He also envisions clearing old sugarcane land for farming and pushing for marketing campaigns that highlight island-grown products.
Crowley sent out a press release earlier this week listing about a dozen talking points for his campaign. Topics he plans to focus on include the methamphetamine problem in Hawai’i County, Hawaiian Homelands, the development of a superhighway system from Hilo to Kona, managing further development on Mauna Kea, revamping Hilo, and making the island more senior ready and friendly. If elected, Crowley said he would give a quarter of his salary to the Wounded Warriors Project and wants to end the yearly car registration required by the state.
Currently, Crowley is the first to officially announce his plans to run for Mayor of Hawai’i County next year. Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s final term expires next year. He announced this year that he will not pursue public office.
Crowley is also pro-smoking in public places, if the owners allow it, and outdoors, and believes in restoring the Hawaiian nation.
Crowley previously worked as an advertising consultant in Hilo and boxed in the Hilo Boxing Club in 1968.