The Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers announced their endorsement Tuesday of Kirk Caldwell for mayor of the City and County of Honolulu.
Caldwell was the city's managing director and acting mayor after Mufi Hannemann stepped down to run for governor.
"Based on his record of collaborative leader and his knowledge and experience to make positive changes, we believe Mr. Caldwell is the best candidate for Honolulu mayor," said Jon Gaspar, HGEA's State Political Action Committee Chair.
"With his experience in federal, state and county government, Mr. Caldwell bring a common-sense approach to addressing the important issues our city faces," said Angel Santiago-Cruz, a member of UPW's Political Action Committee and a third-generation city employee.
The latest campaign spending report showed Caldwell was ahead of current mayor Peter Carlisle.
Candidate for mayor Ben Cayetano responded with a statement:
"I'm not surprised. HGEA and UPW union leaders know the state retirement and health fund systems are in a severe crisis -- but they fear any kind of reform. Kirk Caldwell is a nice man but he's never had to make a tough decision during his entire political career. For the HGEA and UPW, Kirk is the perfect candidate."