Chair Fritz Rohlfing's State Convention Report
Aloha Fellow Republicans, May 24, 2016
What an amazing 2016 Hawaii Republican state convention we enjoyed this past weekend with 325 Republican delegates (up over 60% from the 2015 state convention!) and dozens of guests in attendance from all across the Hawaiian Islands converging on the Filipino Community Center in Waipahū on the island of O’ahu for an incredible convention experience.
From the stirring renditions of the Star Spangled Banner and Hawaii Ponoʻi by top-notch baritone vocalist Chris Lowe, and the heartfelt invocation of God’s choicest blessings on our convention attendees by Pastor Brian Aki from nearby Inspire Church, through the hard-hitting “convention floor speech” of State Senate Republican leader Sam Slom, followed by an exciting keynote address and insightful closing remarks of Arizona Republican Party Chair Robert Graham, and concluding with the announcement -- after vigorously contested races -- of the re-election of Miriam Hellreich as our National Committeewoman and the election of State Representative Gene Ward as our National Committeeman, our delegates were entertained, inspired, and motivated to fully engage with our convention theme: Activate Republicans to Win!
Keynote Speaker Arizona Republican Party Chair Robert Graham
I encouraged the delegates with news of the 50% increase over the past 12 months of the number of Party members (from 22,176 to 33,074), together with the steady expansion of our grass-roots Party leadership by way of the increase in precinct chairs from 44 to 73 and in district chairs from 39 to 44. Many of these new Party leaders together with Republican candidates attended workshops and presentations at Party headquarters on the Friday before Saturday’s Waipahu gathering. I also noted that the convention’s siting in Waipahu was motivated by the rising tide of Republican voters in the areas west of the urban Honolulu core.
I also mentioned the introduction of our new donor program that allows Hawaii Republicans to make monthly or yearly contributions by check or credit card. Will you agree to make an investment each month to help fund our Republican Party and promote liberty and free enterprise in Hawaii by becoming a member of one of our donor clubs? By doing so, you will become an integral part of our intensive 2016 effort to elect more Republicans to office in Hawaii.
The delegates also carefully considered and passed our Party’s 2016 platform together with substantive and commemorative resolutions during the morning session, and after lunch enjoyed an enthusiastic candidate parade narrated by delegates Eric Eads and Janet Hochberg. The convention subsequently considered and passed important amendments to our Party’s rules to strengthen and streamline our Party activities and governance by improving our 2020 Presidential Caucus rules, reorganizing the Hawaii County Republican Party into an East Hawaii County Republican Party and a West Hawaii County Republican Party in order to increase grass-roots participation and ease travel burdens on Hawaii Island Republicans, and moving our annual state-wide precinct elections into the first 14 days of February to allow precinct and district committees more time after the beginning of the new year to better organize their meetings.
2016 Republican Candidates
There was substantial news coverage of the convention, including this lengthy piece on the KHON2 News by Pamela Young: khon2.com/2016/05/21
Mahalo nui loa goes out to the members of the convention planning committee led by Honolulu County Republican Party chair Larie Manutai for planning and providing an exceptional convention experience. Our sincere thanks also to the members of the Issues, Program and Platform/Resolutions Committee (chaired by Mark Moses) and the members of the Rules Committee (chaired by Andrew Walden) for all of their hard work in the months leading up to the convention.
“Waipahū is derived from *wai*, meaning water, and *pahū*, meaning ‘burst or gush forth.'”
Our inspiring 2016 state convention was indeed like fresh water gushing from the ground in activating Hawaii Republicans to win!
Stay Tuned and Connected to the Party!
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Mahalo for your continued support!
Chair, Hawaii Republican Party