Mayoral hopeful Mufi Hannemann has picked up endorsements from the Laborers' International Union of North America Local 368 and the Operating Engineers Local 3 District 17.
The endorsements are the first to be made for the anticipated 2002 special election that will determine who will fill the final two years of Mayor Jeremy Harris' term. Harris is expected to resign next summer to run for governor.
The two unions endorsed Harris two years ago in his bid for re-election, a race in which Hannemann finished second.
The Laborers' Union represents 3,855 people statewide in general contracting, masonry, landscaping, golf course maintenance, general grounds maintenance, health care, termite treatment and other construction-related fields.
The Operating Engineers organization represents up to 4,000 heavy equipment operators statewide.
Leaders for the unions cited Hannemann's strong interest in economic revitalization as the key reason for their choice.
Other announced candidates for mayor include Councilman Duke Bainum and former Mayor Frank Fasi.
Quiet but effective: The administrator of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center has been named state manager of the year.
Liane M. Moriyama was recognized on Friday for her vision, compassion and service as a public advocate for improving the state's criminal justice system, said Gov. Ben Cayetano.
"Liane is a visionary public manager, quiet and hard-working, with a friendly demeanor," Cayetano said. "She is, nonetheless, very focused on being that positive advocate for justice, public safety and a fair criminal justice system that makes use of 21st-century technology."
Meanwhile, Raymond DeSmet Jr., an engineer with the central services division of the Department of Accounting and General Services, was named employee of the year.
DeSmet helped solve air-conditioning and air quality problems for more than 5,500 classrooms and state offices.
The Kona Airports Division was named team of the year.
Youth offender briefing: A residents task force to monitor the Pearl City Youth Sex Offender Facility will hold an informational briefing at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Manana Community Park.
State health officials and program administrators will discuss the two recent escapes, as well as the overall operation of the facility.
A dearth of nurses: The House Health Committee will hold an informational briefing on the causes and consequences of the nurse shortage in Hawaii at 1 p.m. tomorrow in state Capitol Room 329.