‘Our party is divided’: Republicans in Hawaii try to set a course for the future

‘Our party is divided’: Republicans in Hawaii try to set a course for the future

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Republican leaders are condemning the violence on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol ― and say they’re hoping to move the party past the conflict.

“I was here in my office that day and I will be honest, I along with the rest of our state and the country, I was in this disbelief and not in a good way,” said state Rep. Val Okimoto. “I don’t condone any type of violence at our nation’s capital or any other government property.”

But Hawaii Republicans aren’t supporting efforts to remove Trump from office before his term ends.

Diamond Garcia, vice chair of the Oahu Republican Party, said impeaching the president would “further divide the country.” She added, “Regardless of party, it’s so essential that we come together in unity. And there should be a peaceful transition of power on Jan. 20, as the constitution mandates.”

Ostrov, a strong Trump supporter, says she does not believe the president incited the Capitol riot.

“But I do believe that he should be accountable for his words and we are now focusing on what we can do for 2022 for our Republican candidates and to help the people of Hawaii here,” she said.

Hawaii Republican Party Chair says President Trump should not be removed prematurely

Bob McDermott is one of the four Republicans in the state House.

He believes his party needs to prioritize the people of Hawaii. “Here in Hawaii, our focus is on our district. And no. 1 thing on my mind right now is vaccination rollout plan ... (or) unemployment issues.”

“If your legislator you spends one minute thinking about that stuff going on in D.C., you’re not focused on what’s important here at home? That’s the big leagues. It’s Fantasy Island stuff.”

Hawaii News Now political analyst Colin Moore says local moderate Republicans are finding it harder to get elected since the Trump-era began ― and that hasn’t helped Republicans in Hawaii.

“I think it’s become particularly difficult for local Republicans here in Hawaii, which is a often a much more moderate party, to attract the sort of candidates that would appeal to local voters because of the radicalization of the National Republican Party,” Moore said.

“I’ve called this the death spiral of the local Republican party and it’s not anything we should cheer on because a democracy requires a vigorous two-party system.”

Republicans recognize the difficulties before them but remain optimistic about the future.

“Yes, our party is very divided.” Okimoto said. “And it makes it a challenge, especially when our national news makes it here to Hawaii. I think there’s room and potential for us to work together.”

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.