BJ Penn’s dreams of becoming Hawaii’s next governor appear to be dead in the water. The former UFC champion recently ran in the Republican primary for a chance to secure the GOP nomination for his home state’s upcoming gubernatorial race, securing 26.1% of the vote in the process.
Considering Penn’s seeming complete lack of past political ambitions, it’s a pretty surprisingly solid result for ‘The Prodigy’. But the 43-year-old hasn’t seemed be taking the loss nearly so well. In the initial wake of the primary election results, Penn announced that he was refusing to concede the race. In the weeks following he has moved to officially contest the election, claiming signs of ballot tampering.
“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,” Penn stated, as part of a 123-page complaint filed on August 26th.
Perhaps it’s not terribly surprising then, that alongside the André Pederneiras black belt’s contestation, Penn recently released a statement to his Instagram account suggesting that he will not be supporting GOP nominee James ‘Duke’ Aiona in the general election. Penn event went so far as to accuse the Hawaii branch of the Republican party of bringing Aiona into the race specifically to stop candidates like Penn from getting the nomination.
Aiona is expected to face off against Democratic Party nominee, and current Lieutenant Governor Josh Green in the general election. If primary voting numbers are anything to go by, it looks like Aiona will have a lot of ground to make up if he hopes to become governor.