gubernatorial, BJ Penn

BJ Penn loses in Hawaii’s gubernatorial primary election

UFC Hall of Famer and former two-division champion BJ Penn will not be Hawaii’s next governor after the state held their gubernatorial primary election over the weekend.

Penn, who was running for Hawaii’s Republican governor-elect, obtained less than 25 percent of the vote in this past Saturday’s primary election.

The former champion who has battled legal issues in recent years, stemming from a variety of assault and driving under the influence charges, received 22.2 percent of the vote to finish, while two-time Republican Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona, won with 47.5 percent of the vote.

Penn parted ways with the UFC in September 2019 when footage surfaced of Penn being involved in a fight at a Hawaii club.

In October 2021 Penn announced his intent to run for governor of Hawaii.  His campaign relied heavily on social media campaigning with a focus on reducing COVID-19-related restrictions in his state.

Penn had no political experience prior to the run.

Aiona will move on to face current Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, representing the Democratic party in the upcoming general election on Nov. 8.

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