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Hawaii Republican Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Republican Party of Hawaii
ʻAoʻao Lepupalika o Hawaiʻi
ChairpersonDiamond Garcia
Senate Minority LeaderKurt Fevella
House Minority LeaderLauren Matsumoto
FoundedMay 2, 1900 (1900-05-02)
Merger ofReform Party
Home Rule Party
National affiliationRepublican Party
Colors  Red
State House
6 / 51
State Senate
2 / 25
Statewide Executive Offices
0 / 2
U.S. House of Representatives
0 / 2
U.S. Senate
0 / 2

The Hawaii Republican Party (Hawaiian: ʻAoʻao Lepupalika o Hawaiʻi) is the affiliate of the Republican Party (GOP) in Hawaii, headquartered in Honolulu. The party was initially strong during Hawaii's territorial days, but following statehood the Democratic Party has become the dominant party in Hawaii. The party currently has very weak electoral power in the state and is one of the weakest affiliates of the national Republican Party; it currently controls none of Hawaii's statewide or federal elected offices.



Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the creation of the Republic of Hawaii, the American Union Party was created and as the Republic of Hawaii was a de facto one-party state, it faced virtually no opposition from opposing parties. On October 13, 1894, the American Union Party held its first convention to establish the party's organization, create a platform, and nominate candidates for the 1894 elections.[1] Although the party's official stance was in favor of annexation by the United States due to it being the only legal party there were anti-annexation factions within the party.


After Hawaii was annexed by the United States on July 12, 1898, the majority of the American Union Party's members created the Hawaii Republican Party. On March 10, 1899, members of the American Union Party and former leaders of the Republic held a meeting where they decided to postpone both the organization of a Republican Party and the creation of an auxiliary party organization.[2] Later, on May 2, 1900, around one hundred men organized the Republican Party affiliate in Hawaii and the first Hawaii Republican Convention was held on May 30, 1900. Temporary officers were selected, a platform was created, and delegates were chosen to send to the Republican National Convention in June.[3][4]

Although there was a Democratic affiliate in the territory at the time, it held little influence, while the pro-Native Hawaiian Home Rule Party emerged as the main opposition to the Hawaii Republican Party. In 1900, the Home Rule Party took control of the territorial legislature and its leader, Robert William Wilcox, was elected as Hawaii's non-voting delegate to the federal House of Representatives. Prior to the 1902 election, the Reform Party merged into the Hawaii Republican Party. Furthermore, the Home Rule Party suffered a schism when Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole left the party's convention on July 10 to temporarily form the Hui Kuokoa Party before joining the Republicans.[5] In the following elections, the Republicans defeated Wilcox by running Prince Kalanianaʻole, taking control of the legislature with 26 of the 36 seats. Following this defeat, the Home Rule Party would continue to exist in a weakened form until 1912, when it fused with the Hawaii Republican Party. The fused Republican Party would lead the so-called "Haole-Hawaiian Alliance," with uninterrupted Legislative majorities until Democrats took control of the Legislature in 1954.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii was reorganized in 1902, but would not become influential until the 1920s when it won multiple Honolulu mayoral elections and elected William Paul Jarrett as delegate to the House of Representatives. However, the Republican party retook the delegation to the House in the 1930s and 1940s, due to support from the Big Five sugar producers. A seminal moment in Hawaiian history, the power of the Big Five was weakened by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which lead to unionization on Hawaii's sugar plantations and ultimately the Democratic Revolution of 1954.[6] In elections that year, the Hawaii Republican Party lost control of the territorial legislature for the first time since 1900, as the Democratic affiliate won nine of the fifteen territorial senate seats and twenty two of the thirty territorial house seats. The Democrats retained control of the legislature in the 1956 elections, while the Republicans retook control of the senate in the 1958 elections.


On May 16, 1959, the affiliate held its first state convention where most of the officer positions went uncontested except for national committeewoman and where the candidates for the upcoming federal and state special elections.[7] In the gubernatorial election incumbent Territorial Governor William F. Quinn narrowly won by 4,139 votes; in the Senate special elections Hiram Fong narrowly won by 9,514 votes while Wilfred Tsukiyama was narrowly defeated by 4,577 votes; and Republicans lost the House election in a landslide.

During the 1998 gubernatorial election Maui Mayor Linda Lingle won the Republican nomination and used dissatisfaction with Governor Ben Cayetano's handling of the economy to propel her campaign and was shown to be polling above Cayetano in multiple polls. However, allegations of Lingle being a lesbian and her decision as mayor to require state employees to work on Christmas Eve hurt her. In the general election she was narrowly defeated by 5,254 votes, but she was the most successful Republican nominee for governor since Randolph Crossley in 1966.

In 1999 Lingle and many of her supporters took over leadership positions in the party with Lingle herself defeating James Kuroiwa Jr., who was aligned with the party's conservative wing and was pro-life, to become chairwoman with 325 to 63 votes.[8]

During the 2002 gubernatorial election the Democratic party had a contentious primary where Mazie Hirono defeated Ed Case by 2,000 votes and Hirono's campaign was later hurt by corruption allegations that allowed Linda Lingle to narrowly win the election becoming the first Republican governor since 1962. She later won reelection in 2006 becoming the only multi-term popularly elected Republican governor in the state's history.

During the 2004 presidential election multiple polls showed George W. Bush performing well in Hawaii and with recent gubernatorial victory the party made a push to win at least three seats to prevent Governor Lingle's vetoes from being overruled and possibly eleven seats in the state house to hold a one-seat majority of twenty six seats to the Democratic twenty five seats that would allow.[9] However, the Bush campaign later decreased its efforts in Hawaii and lost five seats in the House despite Bush winning 45.26% of the vote and being the closet the Republicans have come to winning the state in a presidential election since 1984.[10]

In 2010 Representative Neil Abercrombie resigned to focus on his gubernatorial campaign and a special election was held to fill the vacancy. Due to special elections not having primaries all of the candidates would run in a single race resulting in two Democrats splitting the vote allowing Charles Djou to win with a plurality of 39.68% of the vote and became the first Republican representative from Hawaii since Pat Saiki in 1991. However, he was narrowly defeated for reelection in the general election by Colleen Hanabusa.

Following Donald Trump's election as president the affiliate lost multiple members with Charles Djou becoming an independent and state House Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto becoming a Democrat.[11] On December 11, 2019, the party cancelled its presidential preference poll and committed all of its primary delegates to Trump.[12] In January 2021, party chair Shirlene Ostrov and vice-chair Edwin Boyette resigned after Boyette used the party's official Twitter account to post a series of tweets praising the QAnon conspiracy theory and describing its adherents as patriots.[13][14][15]

Political positions


As a whole, Hawaiʻi Republicans advocate for limited government, lower taxes, decentralized control of public schools, and improving the state's business climate.[16] Republicans have been supportive of big business plans and commitments to assist companies in the state in competing against large businesses in other states. They also usually support interstate and international commerce. For example, former Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona has been a strong proponent of keeping the National Football League's Pro Bowl in Hawaii, and former Governor Linda Lingle proposed tax reduction incentives to businesses to encourage creation of work opportunities, such as hotel renovations.


Measuring lava at Halema'uma'u, Kilauea, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in 1917. Left to right, Norton Twigg-Smith, Thomas Jaggar, Lorrin Thurston, Joe Monez, and Alex Lancaster.

In the Reform Party, a pre-statehood group that after annexation was largely sympathetic toward the Republican Party, Lorrin Thurston was a strong supporter of the formation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. In the 21st century, Governor Lingle proposed a Clean Energy Initiative to promote clean and renewable energy resources, with the goal of making the state 70% energy self-sustainable by 2030. The initiative plans to use solar, wind, ocean, geothermal, and biomass as energy resources with a phased reduction in the use of fossil fuels.


Despite the influence of the early missionaries and despite recent national trends, the Republican party in Hawaiʻi steadily lost its Christian overtone over time. After annexation, Christians proselytized to new, incoming immigrants contracted to work on Hawaii's growing sugar industry. This was, in large part, brought on by Farrington v. Tokushige (1927), a U.S. Supreme Court case brought by approximately 100 Japanese, Korean, and Chinese language schools, a number of which were also Buddhist religious schools, against Republican Governor Wallace R. Farrington and the Republican government for passing laws limiting the material taught in private schools, including Buddhist philosophy.[17] The court found the laws unconstitutional and in violation of parents' Fifth Amendment right to choose the education of their children.[18][19] Duke Aiona, a Republican, presented a proclamation to the president of the Junior Young Buddhist Association in 2004[20] and attended the 2010 lantern festival.[21]

Recently, the Party has been hesitant to associate itself with religion in general, with members citing the negative effects of the party's association with the Hawaii branch of the Christian Coalition formed by Pat Robertson in 1988. The Coalition swelled Republican membership by 50%, but also gave rise to infighting; by 1993 the party had lost more legislative seats than it started with.[22]


Name Position
Diamond Garcia State Chairman
Mele Songsong Executive Director

County chairs

Name County
Brett Kulbis Honolulu County
Tamara McKay Maui County
Bronson Stewart West Hawaii County
Kahiolani Papalimu East Hawaii County
Ana Mo Des Kauai County

Elected officials


State officials

State legislative leaders

Electoral performance


Hawaii Republican Party presidential election results
Election Presidential Ticket Votes Vote % Electoral votes Result
1960 Richard Nixon/Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. 92,295 49.97%
0 / 3
1964 Barry Goldwater/William E. Miller 44,022 21.24%
0 / 4
1968 Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew 91,425 38.70%
0 / 4
1972 Richard Nixon/Spiro Agnew 168,865 62.48%
4 / 4
1976 Gerald Ford/Bob Dole 140,003 48.06%
0 / 4
1980 Ronald Reagan/George H. W. Bush 130,112 42.90%
0 / 4
1984 Ronald Reagan/George H. W. Bush 185,050 55.10%
4 / 4
1988 George H. W. Bush/Dan Quayle 158,625 44.75%
0 / 4
1992 George H. W. Bush/Dan Quayle 136,822 36.70%
0 / 4
1996 Bob Dole/Jack Kemp 113,943 31.64%
0 / 4
2000 George W. Bush/Dick Cheney 137,845 37.46%
0 / 4
2004 George W. Bush/Dick Cheney 194,191 45.26%
0 / 4
2008 John McCain/Sarah Palin 120,566 26.58%
0 / 4
2012 Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan 121,015 27.84%
0 / 4
2016 Donald Trump/Mike Pence 128,847 30.36%
0 / 4
2020 Donald Trump/Mike Pence 196,864 34.27%
0 / 4


Hawaii Republican Party gubernatorial election results
Election Gubernatorial candidate Votes Vote % Result
1959 William F. Quinn 86,213 51.12% Won Green tickY
1962 William F. Quinn 81,707 41.68% Lost Red XN
1966 Randolph Crossley 104,324 48.94% Lost Red XN
1970 Samuel Pailthorpe King 101,249 42.35% Lost Red XN
1974 Randolph Crossley 113,388 45.42% Lost Red XN
1978 John R. Leopold 124,610 44.25% Lost Red XN
1982 D. G. Anderson 81,507 26.14% Lost Red XN
1986 D. G. Anderson 160,460 48.02% Lost Red XN
1990 Fred Hemmings 131,310 38.61% Lost Red XN
1994 Pat Saiki 107,908 29.24% Lost Red XN
1998 Linda Lingle 198,952 48.82% Lost Red XN
2002 Linda Lingle 197,009 51.56% Won Green tickY
2006 Linda Lingle 215,313 62.53% Won Green tickY
2010 Duke Aiona 157,311 40.8% Lost Red XN
2014 Duke Aiona 135,775 37.08% Lost Red XN
2018 Andria Tupola 131,719 33.70% Lost Red XN
2022 Duke Aiona 151,258 36.08% Lost Red XN


Electoral performance

State legislature

Electoral performance

See also


  1. ^ "The Convention". The Hawaiian Star. 15 October 1894. p. 3. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  2. ^ "Confound Their Politics". The Hawaiian Star. 10 March 1899. p. 1. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  3. ^ "GOP Has Been Hawaii's Party Of The People". The Honolulu Advertiser. 13 June 1954. p. 52. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019 – via
  4. ^ "Republican Convention". Evening Bulletin. 2 June 1900. p. 10. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  5. ^ "Cupid Leaves The Convention". The Hawaiian Star. 11 June 1902. p. 10. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  6. ^ "Chairman Traces History of Demo Party In Hawaii". Hawaii Tribune-Herald. 27 October 1971. p. 4. Archived from the original on 31 December 2019 – via
  7. ^ "Woolaway Heads Island G.O.P.; 700 at Harmonious Convention". The Honolulu Advertiser. 18 May 1959. p. 15. Archived from the original on 30 December 2019 – via
  8. ^ "Lingle, backers take control of GOP". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 24 May 1999. p. 37. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  9. ^ "Republicans gunning for state House control". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 4 June 2004. p. 9. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  10. ^ "No Republican revolution in Hawaii". Hawaii Tribune-Herald. 4 November 2004. p. 3. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  11. ^ "The Republican Party is almost extinct in Hawaii – and it's only getting worse". Journal and Courier. 12 November 2017. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  12. ^ "Hawaii GOP cancels presidential preference poll, commits delegates to Trump". The Hill. 12 December 2019. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019 – via
  13. ^ Smith, David (January 31, 2021). "'It's endemic': state-level Republican groups lead party's drift to extremism". The Guardian. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  14. ^ Thiessen, Mark (January 26, 2021). "Hawaii GOP official resigns after posting pro-QAnon tweets". Associated Press. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  15. ^ McAvoy, Audrey (February 1, 2021). "Hawaii GOP chair resigns after party tweets about QAnon". Yahoo! News. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  16. ^ Hawaii Republican Party staff (2007-07-04). "About". Hawaii Republican Party. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
  17. ^ Encyclopedia of women and religion in North America, Volume 2 by Rosemary Skinner Keller p.681
  18. ^ A digest of Supreme Court decisions affecting education, Fourth edition by Perry Alan Zirkel p.135
  19. ^ The Japanese in Hawaii by Roland Kotani p.62-65
  20. ^ Lt. Governor's E-newsletter July 7, 2004
  21. ^ "Hawaii Floating Lantern Ceremony Inspires Awe" by Gordon Y.K. Pang, Honolulu Advertiser
  22. ^ "Local GOP poised for mix of religion into politics", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 22, 2009.


  • Andrade Jr., Ernest (1996). Unconquerable Rebel: Robert W. Wilcox and Hawaiian Politics, 1880–1903. University Press of Colorado. ISBN 0-87081-417-6.
  • Chapin, Helen Geracimos (1996). Shaping history: the role of newspapers in Hawai'i. Shaping history: the role of newspapers in Hawai'i.
  • Kame'eleihiwa, Lilikala (1995). A synopsis of Traditional Hawaiian Culture, the Events Leading to the 1887 Bayonet Constitution and the Overthrow of the Hawaiian Government. (unpublished).
  • Laenui, Poka (1984). East Wind, Vol. III, No. 1. East Wind, Vol. III, No. 1.
  • Liliuokalani (1898). Hawaii's Story. Tothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 September 2023, at 18:03
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