State Republican Convention feels a youth movement - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State Republican Convention feels a youth movement

Sen. Barbara Marumoto Sen. Barbara Marumoto
Jonah Kaauwai Jonah Kaauwai
Lynn Finnegan Lynn Finnegan
David Matsuura David Matsuura

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's a youth movement. The State Republican Convention wrapped up in Waikiki on Saturday night.

Party leaders say many fresh faces have joined the GOP, as it enters a crucial next few months, with many key elections hanging in the balance.

The GOP hopes for a rebound this election season, utilizing a new, broader platform that takes no sides on controversial issues and the momentum of Congressional candidate Charles Djou.

"Let's get it started!"

Not only the title of the song Duke Aiona supporters marched out to, but a message republicans want others to heed with a slew of important elections ahead.

"People think we're a totally democrat state and or course we're not, we have a republican governor," State representative Barbara Marumoto said.

GOP chair Jonah Kaauwai says every year is important for the republican party, but something seems different this year.

"I would like to say it's like a re-birth, it's a rejuvenation," he said.

With Djou leading in the polls, many GOP supporters are hoping his momentum will rub off on other races.

"Republicans are always trudging uphill in almost every race that we run here in Hawaii, but I'm very, very excited about Charles because we've come together, we've stood on ground and we're saying, we want to win this race," Lieutenant Governor candidate Lynn Finnegan said.

More than 700 delegates and supporters packed the Coral Ballroom at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to hear the Lingle Administration's final speeches at a GOP State Convention.

In a surprise move, crossing party lines, former democratic State senator David Matsuura introduced Aiona.

"Join us to rise up with your vote to make a difference for the Hawaii that we love," Aiona said.

Governor Lingle also made it known that Aiona's two opponents in the next governor's race aren't fit to take over her seat, saying Neil Abercrombie uses "shibai politics" and Mufi Hannemann is a candidate only when its convenient for himself.

The GOP also rolled out its new platform, using principles such as liberty, limited government, individual responsibility, fiscal accountability and equality of opportunity.

Delegates late Saturday night passed a resolution urging Governor Lingle to veto the civil unions bill.

Charles Djou was the keynote speaker. The State Democratic Convention is scheduled for the end of the month.

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