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Hawaii GOP Chairman Kaauwai resigns

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:30 p.m. HST, Sep 26, 2011

State Republican Party Chairman Jonah Kaauwai formally resigned from the post this morning, officials said.

The Hawaii Republican Party announced Kaauwai's resignation in messages posted on the organization’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

"At about 10:15 a.m. this morning, Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Jonah Ka`auwai formally resigned as chair," the posts said. Further details were not immediately available.

Word surfaced last week that several members of the party’s executive committee wanted to remove Kaauwai as chairman.

In a confidential Sept. 18 email to the GOP’s state committee, members of the committee said former Gov. Linda Lingle and other top Republicans have lost confidence in Kaauwai’s leadership.

The email cited a party debt of nearly $100,000 and questioned Kaauwai’s ability to build a grass-roots organization and recruit candidates so the party can be competitive in the 2012 elections.

Last week, Kaauwai said he had been in discussions with party leaders on how best to proceed.

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