Republicans in Hawaii to strategize - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Republicans in Hawaii to strategize

Charlie Webster Charlie Webster
Charles Djou Charles Djou
Gentry Collins Gentry Collins

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email 

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - "Playing to win," that's the theme for the Republican National Committee's winter meetings which are being held at Hilton Hawaiian Village. Three delegates from every state in the country and their families are here in Hawaii, not just for the sunshine, but also to strategize and learn how to win more elections.

Charlie Webster and his wife came to Hawaii from the complete opposite corner of the country, traveling more than 6,000 miles from Maine.

"When I left it was in the 20's and raining," said Webster, Maine Republican Party Chairman, plumber and self described blue collar working man.

At the workshops Webster and others are learning how to use social media websites.

"Some of the neat things, the website stuff, the email, twitter which we don't use much up in Maine, so just learning different ways to win elections," said Webster.

And while here he's also learning how to look like a local.

"Any chance we're going to get you in an aloha shirt?"

"You know I need to do that. I got to go buy one I want to help the local economy here in Hawaii and make sure we spend some of that money from Maine," said Webster.

Of course this is still President Obama's birth state and when he was in town for the holidays these dash board dolls were a big seller, but now that the republicans are in town the ABC store manager at the Hilton Hawaiian Village says they'll be moved to the back.

"I personally am very proud President Obama grew up here in Hawaii, but you know I fully understand and respect that you have to run a business and if ABC Stores can make better sales on something else, more power to them," said Charles Djou.

Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou is the Republican Candidate for the Congressional seat soon to be vacated by Neil Abercrombie as he runs for Governor. Djou welcomes his GOP colleagues to town but says he's not caught up with the partisan label.

"For me and my campaign, eh, it's a slight help but not a huge factor," admits Djou.

"We expect it to be a tough seat, as you know it's one that's been held by democrats for a very long time, but Djou is a fantastic candidate, he's running a great campaign and we expect to be competitive here," said Gentry Collins, Republican National Committee Political Director.

Even in the land of "Hawaii's son."

Governor Linda Lingle will deliver a speech Thursday. The Republican winter meetings continue through Saturday.

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