Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023 |
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The state has dropped charges of DUI and reckless driving against former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn.
The charges were dismissed Feb. 3, after a penal summons issued for him to appear in court went unserved for a fourth time, according to court records.
The charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means prosecutors are free to refile them.
The charges were in connection with an arrest on Jan. 23, 2021, following a verbal confrontation in Honokaa that was caught on video.
Penn, whose legal name is Jay Dee Penn, announced on Instagram in October that he is running for governor of Hawaii.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but I would never run from a fight or sell out my people,” Penn wrote in the October post. “As soon as I step into Hawaii’s Governor office I will remove all new federal and state mandates that have been hurting our economy, residents, and ‘ohana.”
The UFC Hall of Famer said, if elected, he would ensure the state has more health care options to continue to battle COVID-19 while also removing any vaccine passport requirements.
“We will get the best doctors, medicines, therapies, and health care the world has to offer to fight this pandemic and always keep Hawaii among the safest and healthiest states in the union,” Penn wrote. “We will get rid of all vaccine passports. Hawaii will be a vaccinated with Aloha and unvaccinated with Aloha policy for everyone. Same with masks.”
Penn’s announcement sparked public interest, but he has kept a low profile since then and hasn’t filed nomination papers for the gubernatorial race.
Penn also didn’t say for which party he was seeking the gubernatorial nomination.
Primary elections are on Aug. 13, and the Democratic gubernatorial primary figures to be a crowded race.
Announced candidates include Lt. Gov. Josh Green, former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and former Hawaii First Lady Vicky Cayetano.
U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele has said he’s considering a run for the state’s chief executive office.
Republicans Lynn Mariano and Paul Morgan also have filed papers with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission.
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