Rep. Fukumoto, Republican turned Democrat, announces run for Con - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rep. Fukumoto, Republican turned Democrat, announces run for Congress

Beth Fukumoto, who garnered national attention for switching parties, has announced she's running for Congress (Image: Beth Fukumoto) Beth Fukumoto, who garnered national attention for switching parties, has announced she's running for Congress (Image: Beth Fukumoto)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

State Rep. Beth Fukumoto, who garnered national attention for leaving the GOP, announced Thursday she’s running for Congress.

“I believe the next person Hawaii sends to Congress must be ready to stand by our core values while making connections and navigating a toxic partisan divide to bring needed resources to our state,” Fukumoto said, in a statement. “I am the only candidate in the race that has a proven record of courage, action and results.”

Fukumoto was elected in 2012 and became the youngest person to be appointed House minority leader. But she was ousted from the position in 2017 after publicly voicing her opposition to President Donald Trump and his treatment of women and minorities, and participating in the Women’s March on Oahu.

She was eventually replaced as House minority leader and ended up leaving the party entirely to join the Democratic party.

The 34-year-old joins four other candidates vying for the seat of U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who’s running for governor.

Other candidates in the race to represent Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District include Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, State Rep. Kaniela Ing and Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin.

A recent poll conducted by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser showed Kim with a narrow lead over Chin.

In an email to supporters, Fukumoto wrote, “Your support has inspired me to find ways to amplify new voices, to fight against the status-quo, and to push back against the establishment to build a better future for Hawaii.” 

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