Weighing the balance: GOP comes up short - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Weighing the balance: GOP comes up short

Sam Slom Sam Slom
Fred Hemmings Fred Hemmings
Pohai Ryan Pohai Ryan
Gil Riviere Gil Riviere
George Fontaine George Fontaine

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The GOP picked up a few seats in the House, but struggled in just about all other Hawaii races. Let's take a look at the balance of power.

Democrats are celebrating victory. Republicans are reeling. Longtime legislator, Sam Slom said, "Well we got drubbed. I mean there's no other way to discuss it."

Slom held onto his seat, but he's the only Republican left in the Senate. Fred Hemmings was the only other Republican in the Senate, but he's retiring, and Democrat Pohai Ryan won the election to replace him.

Slom added, "They got out the vote. They did what had to be done. I think some of our campaigns were weak even though the candidates were strong."

Republicans fared better in the House; at least a little. Gil Riviere spent the day raking his yard after sweeping to victory on Oahu's North Shore. He said, "As the minority, we've got to stand true to our principals and be a clear voice as an alternative. The Democratic party is going to do what they want to do. They are going to meet in caucus and then they're going to come out and vote. And we just have to have a solid, consistent and reasonable voice."

Riviere won a seat that had been held by a Democrat. He's one of two Republicans to accomplish that. The other is George Fontaine. He'll represent Maui from Kihei to Makena.

Three Republicans: Barbara Marumoto, Gene Ward, and Cynthia Thielen, won uncontested races.

Incumbents Corinne Ching and Kimberly Pine held onto their seats, and newcomer Aaron Johanson won the seat formerly held by Lynn Finnegan, who resigned to run for Lieutenant Governor, but that's it.

While they've picked up two more votes, there are still just eight Republicans in the House, and again, the Senate is down to just one member of the GOP. "Whether there's five of us, two of us, or one of us, we still represent at least 47, 48% of the electorate here and somebody has to stand up for those principals and the idea of limited government, no new taxes, and I intend to do that," expressed Sam Slom.

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