HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Speaking to a crowd of about 500 guests at the Koolau Ballrooms Tuesday night, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee hoped to reignite the spirit of Hawaii's Republican Party.
Huckabee, also a former Arkansas governor, received a standing ovation as he entered the stage at a republican fundraiser. Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle was the event's honorary chair. She says she convinced Huckabee to come to Hawaii in May when she ran into him in Jerusalem.
"He has such a great history everybody knows him so well and I think he represents the leadership where you can disagree on an issue but not be disagreeable," Lingle said.
The GOP faithful at the event were well aware of their minority status in this heavily democratic state.
"I believe the republican party of Hawaii has a real message for the people of this state and they have an opportunity to create the kind of policy that will improve the lives of people with better jobs, pay and better schools," Huckabee said.
Huckabee and his wife arrived in Hawaii on Satuday. They visited Pearl Harbor and Hickam Airforce base, and even snapped a photo with gov. David Ige.
"This is a hospitality state but aloha is not a word, it's an experience and everywhere we've been I have been overwhelmed with the hospitality," Huckabee added.
Throughout the night, there was little mention of President Trump. Republican party leaders said the fundraiser is meant to help diversify Hawaii's leadership.
"The Republican Party is not well represented in our state legislature so we're raising money to make sure we have the mechanism to support candidates and to help Hawaii become a vibrant two party system," Shirlene Ostrov, Republican Party of Hawaii chairperson said.