B.J. Penn isn’t ending his run to become the Republican nominee for Governor of Hawaii without a fight.
Penn came in second to Duke Aiona in the Republican primary, pulling 19,667 votes to Aiona’s 37,406. While it was an impressive showing for a political novice — especially considering the number times Penn has been arrested over the past several years — there’s no doubt that Aiona was the rightful winner of the election.
That hasn’t stopped Penn from contesting the election results with the Hawaii Supreme Court.
According to his complaint (via The Honolulu Star Advertiser) “There is an appearance of inaccurate reporting, ballot mishandling, ballot design components, breaches at counting centers and ballot deposit sites, discrimination, voter suppression, and media violations are the main catalysts for this inquiry.”
Leading up to the election, Penn made several mentions of potential voter fraud and election tampering. On voting day he shared a number of clips claiming to show voters being turned away from polling stations.
Shortly following the election, Penn or someone with access to his account made a post declaring they would not concede the election. That post was subsequently deleted. Now we have video of Penn himself filing a complaint with the Hawaii Supreme Court and keeping his political dreams alive.
It’s interesting to see B.J. fighting so hard to secure the Republican nominee for Governor of Hawaii. The state is firmly blue and has elected just two Republican Governors since becoming a U.S. state in 1959. The upcoming election is already considered a lock for Democratic primary winner Josh Green, who received 157,476 of the 250,305 Democratic party primary votes. In comparison, the Republican primary only saw 75,408 votes cast.
Penn follows in the political footsteps of his mother, Lorraine Pualani Shin, who was a candidate for House District 1 on the Big Island, Hawaii in the 2020 elections. She lost to Democrat Mark Nakashima with 3,497 votes to his 8,851.
On the fighting side of things, B.J. Penn hasn’t competed since a decision loss to Clay Guida on the prelim portion of UFC 237 back in May 2019. That defeat was his 7th in a row. Four months later the promotion released Penn after footage appeared online showing “The Prodigy” getting knocked out in a street fight with a bar bouncer.
A year later, Penn implied he was done fighting during a Instagram live chat with MMA coach Jason Parillo.
“It takes a lot of work,” Penn said. “It takes too much. Too much f—ing work. At this age, it just takes too much f—ing work. You never know what’s going to happen, but it takes so much work.”