From school custodian to the sole Republican in the state Senate

Kurt Fevella: From school custodian to sole Republican in the state Senate

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For Kurt Fevella, the results of the general election are still sinking in.

The former school janitor is now hiring staff for his office, as the newly-elected lone Republican in the Hawaii state Senate.

On Monday, he was at his office with his wife, Donnalee, trying to get things in order.

“I know Christmas is coming around, but I really feel like a little kid waiting to open up that gift,” Fevella said. “I just feel blessed to be here. I just feel honored to represent my community and my state."

Fevella had been a working as a full-time custodian at Ewa Makai Middle School. It's a job he took pride in and fills him with emotion when he thinks about leaving at the end of the month.

"I prayed for that job. That's why it was harder for me to leave because I really felt that God blessed me with that job," he said.

Fevella says the state would have allowed him to keep his DOE job, but he called it quits on his own.

“I felt that it would be selfish of me to keep the position open for me when there’s another community member that could have an eight hour job and provide for their family,” he said.

Fevella says he hopes to bring more resources for crowded and aging schools in fast-growing Ewa and wants to work on traffic solutions. As the only GOP senator, he's ready to work with Democrats.

"The stigma that people have of me being the only republican senator, that I want to clear up. I want to work with my counterparts," he said.

From custodian and community leader to lawmaker, Fevella believes his new role actually hasn't changed that much.

“The only difference is a different kind of cleaning up right,” he joked.

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