Hawaii Republicans, Down to Five Members in the State Legislature, Try to Regroup
by Ian Lovett, Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2017 (excerpts)
…“I believe there has been racism and sexism within the Republican Party,” Ms. Fukumoto said, announcing her resignation from the Republican caucus at a press conference Wednesday where she referred to comments by Mr. Trump about potentially supporting Japanese internment. “The refusal to contradict that racism and sexism is the reason that I’m choosing to leave the party.” ….
In response to the resignation, Andria Tupola, the new House minority leader, declined to directly criticize Ms. Fukumoto’s decision, and instead stressed her own efforts to make the Republican Party more diverse. “As a millennial Polynesian woman, I am excited to chart an action-oriented course forward,” Ms. Tupola said….
Ms. Tupola, the new House Republican leader, said after she was first elected in 2014, she joined a caucus that was bitterly divided between moderates and conservatives. “When I walked into the first meeting, there was so much arguing,” she said. “That meeting was the first time some of them had even been in the room together.”
State party officials haven’t done enough to recruit Republican candidates and prepare them to run effectively, Ms. Tupola said. She is considering running for party chairman this year, and thinks the party could gain as many as seven seats in 2018—more than the total they hold now.
“I don’t want to approach 2018 and take another beating because our party is so ridiculous,” Ms. Tupola said. “Every single past leader has told me, ‘You won’t succeed unless you fix the party.’ ’’
Jack James, executive director of the Hawaii Republican Party, said Ms. Tupola’s criticism of the party was “right on.” ….
read … Tupola
Related: Hawaii Republican Party Convention Set for May 12-13