by Andrew Walden
Multiple sources within the Hawaii Republican Party report Honolulu County Prosecutor Peter Carlisle has resigned his Party membership. The sources report that Carlisle sent a short letter to Hawaii GOP HQ with his resignation late last week.
Carlisle in July announced his intention to run for Honolulu mayor. The current mayor, Mufi Hannemann is widely expected to resign and seek the 2010 Democratic Gubernatorial nomination. Honolulu mayoral races are officially non-partisan.
The loss of a leading mayoral candidate and popular elected official is another blow to Hawaii Republicans. Republican legislative numbers have been declining since 2002. Hawaii has the second-most lopsided legislature of any state. Long-serving Oahu Republican Senator Fred Hemmings has announced his intention not to seek another term as his wife fights off politically motivated criminal charges.
With the untimely death of Kauai Mayor Brian Baptiste, Republicans are left with no county mayors. Only two Republicans are elected county Council members: Honolulu's Charles Djou, who is seeking the Congressional District 1 (Urban Honolulu) seat being vacated by Neil Abercrombie, and Joanne Johnson of Maui who has announced her intention not to seek another term. Johnson is the only Republican officeholder outside of Oahu.
Leading Republican candidates for 2010 include Lt Gov Duke Aiona for Governor, Charles Djou for Congress, and Alan Arakawa for Maui Mayor.
Peter Carlisle was a featured speaker at the 2007 and 2008 Hawaii Republican Party conventions. His campaign did not respond to an email request for comment.
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