|Chairperson||Shirlene D. Ostrov|
|House leader||Andria Tupola|
|Founded||November 1, 1902|
|National affiliation||Republican Party|
|Seats in the Upper House||
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|Seats in the Lower House||
5 / 51
The Hawaiʻi Republican Party is the state affiliate of the Republican Party of the United States. Based in Honolulu, the party is a central organization established for the promotion of the party platform as it is drafted in convention every other year. It is also charged with registering voters and delivering voter turnout through four major county organizations for Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui and the City & County of Honolulu.
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American Progressivism was carried over to the Party from the New England ABCFM missionaries, a few issues continue to the present party such as support for democracy, stop and preventing drug and alcohol abuse, and opposition to gambling in the islands. As compared with the national Republican Party, Republicans in Hawaiʻi who hold elective office tend to be moderates. On social issues such as abortion, they tend to be somewhat less conservative than the national party as a whole. For example, former Republican Governor Linda Lingle is pro-choice, but favors parental notification. In large part from HB 444 the party has taken a populist stance in that social issues should be based on public opinion, while opponents have argued that populist policies would lead to exclusion and discrimination toward minority groups.
As a whole, Hawaiʻi Republicans advocate limited government, lower taxes, decentralized control of public schools, and improving Hawaiʻi's business climate. Republicans have been supportive of big business plans and commitments to allow companies in Hawaiʻi to rival and compete against large businesses in other states. Republicans have also been supportive of 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. Former Governor Linda Lingle proposed tax reduction incentives to businesses to hire and encourage work, such as hotel renovations.
Reform Party (a group largely sympathetic toward the Republican Party following annexation) member Lorrin Thurston was a strong supporter of the formation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Governor Lingle proposed a Clean Energy Initiative to encourage and promote clean and renewable energy reasorces. The goal of the Initiative is to make Hawaii 70% energy self-sustainable by 2030. The indicative uses solar, wind, ocean, geothermal, and biomass as energy resources and a phased reduction in the use of fossil fuels.
Despite the influence of the early missionaries, and despite recent national trends, the party steadily lost its Christian overtone over time. After annexation Christians proselytized to new coming immigrants contracted to work on Hawaii's growing sugar industry. This was in large part brought on by Farrington v. Tokushige (1927), a Supreme Court case brought by approximately 100 Japanese, Korean, and Chinese language schools, a number of which were also Buddhist schools, against Governor Wallace R. Farrington (R) and the Republican government for passing laws limiting the material taught in private schools including Buddhist philosophy. The court found the laws unconstitutional and violating the "liberty" of the parents' right to choose the education of their children. Duke Aiona, a Republican, presented a proclamation to the president of the Junior Young Buddhist Association in 2004 and attended the 2010 lantern festival.
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 Christian Coalition formed by Pat Robertson in 1988. The Coalition swelled Republican membership by 50% but at the expense of infighting and by 1993 the party had lost more legislative seats than it started with.
|Fritz Rohlfing||State Chairman|
|Jack James||Executive Director|
|Dave Ross||West Hawaii|
|Dave Yonan||East Hawaii|
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