Statewide races for the 2014 elections seem to be firming up.
Within the past week, James "Duke" Aiona formally announced he will seek the Republican nomination for governor. He joins incumbent Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige, who are vying for the Democratic nomination, and Mufi Hannemann, who is running on the Independent ticket.
Aiona has always seemed like a reluctant candidate to us. It has been assumed all year that he would run - he has had a website since January. But he waited until the end of May to announce and begin campaigning and advertising.
In 2010 when he first ran for the office, he skipped an invitation here to participate in a debate with the two Democratic candidates, Abercrombie and Hannemann.
He will have to be more aggressive, engaged and assertive if he is to have any chance this year. We think Hannemann's entry as an Independent will siphon off moderate votes from Aiona.
Also joining the fray last week was Sen. Clayton Hee, who announced he will challenge incumbent Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui for the Democratic nomination for that office.
We're not certain what hole Hee thinks his candidacy fills. Perhaps he simply feels he has a bigger base coming from Oahu than Maui's Tsutsui and it's an opportune time to advance in the ranks of state politics.
Right now, though, we think both Abercrombie and Tsutsui have the advantage in their respective races.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.