HONOLULU - Former Gov. Linda Lingle, who is running for the U.S. Senate, was formally endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday afternoon at an event in Kihei.
"Since her time serving on the Maui County Council, Governor Lingle has remained a steadfast supporter of Maui's local economy," said Darlene Miller, U.S. Chamber board member and chief executive officer of Permac Industries in Minnesota. "Because Maui small businesses face many of the same challenges as small businesses nationwide, the U.S. Chamber is confident that Governor Lingle will remain committed to the people if elected as Hawaii's next U.S. senator.
"Personally, I commend her for being a role model to young women who aspire to achieve great things," she said.
The U.S. Chamber has named Miller "Small Business Person of the Year" and selected her company as a "Top 25 Woman-Owned Business" and "Small Business of the Year."
U.S. Chamber represents more than 3 million small, midsized and large businesses across the nation, a news release about the event said.
The event at Goodfellow Brothers in the Maui Research & Technology Park was hosted by the Maui Chamber of Commerce. The Maui announcement kicked off a formal U.S. Chamber endorsement tour around the state. Lingle, a Republican and former Maui County mayor, will be hosted at events in Kona on Thursday and Kauai on Friday.
"I am honored to have the Chamber's endorsement and their confidence," said Lingle. "The current state of our economy has left many small businesses in our state and across the country struggling to keep their doors open and to provide for their families."
"Maui's business owners and their families - as well as all the people of Hawaii - have my personal commitment that I will work to grow the private sector, stimulate job growth and expand opportunities for small businesses to thrive," she said.