Hawaii GOP commits all delegates to Trump
The Hawaii Republican Party has canceled plans for its statewide presidential preference poll and committed all 19 of its national convention delegates to back the reelection of President Donald Trump, the party announced Wednesday.
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The Hawaii Republican Party has canceled plans for its statewide presidential preference poll and committed all 19 of its national convention delegates to back the reelection of President Donald Trump, the party
GOP Chairwoman Shirlene DelaCruz Ostrov said the rules of the state party require that any presidential candidates who plan to participate in the state presidential preference poll must declare for the Hawaii ballot by Dec. 2 and pay a fee, and only Trump did so.
Hawaii does not hold presidential primaries, so state party preference polls are the only opportunities Hawaii voters have to chose among presidential candidates running on the Republican or Democratic Party tickets. State Democrats
will hold their preference poll on April 4.
Other states still may
allow Republican candidates such as former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld to file to participate in Republican primaries, preference polls or caucuses, Ostrov said, but “we were able to say
and commit all of our delegates to be for Donald Trump. We are the first state to commit all of our delegates to the national convention to Donald Trump.”
The Hawaii GOP executive committee decided Tuesday night to cancel the party caucus and preference poll “rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars to bring people out to vote for our single candidate,” she said.
Ostrov said she believes Hawaii voters have warmed to Trump since 2016, when state voters favored his Democratic opponent former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with more than 62 percent of the vote. That was highest percentage win for Clinton of any state in the nation.
Trump also appears on the verge of impeachment in the U.S. House, but Ostrov dismissed the impeachment process as “a political event.”
“This is the political theater that we live in today, and we believe in our president. The Hawaii Republican Party believes in our president, and supports our president,” she said.
Ostrov added in a written statement that “President Trump’s economic achievements have benefited citizens across the country and in Hawaii, despite corrupt leadership of state Democrats who have negligently accrued billions in unfunded pension liabilities and deceptively implemented a grossly failed rail project destined to raise property taxes out-of-sight.”
A written statement from the Hawaii GOP said the move by the state party to back the president positions Trump for a sweep of delegates across the nation in the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in August.
Hawaii Trump Campaign Chairman AL Frenzel said in a statement that statewide enthusiasm for Trump has reinvigorated local Republican Party membership, “
and will result in successes up and down the ballot.”
Frenzel credited Trump with adding 13,600 jobs to Hawaii’s economy, lowering the state’s unemployment rate to 2.7%, and providing an average tax cut for
Hawaii taxpayers of $1,345.
“It’s clear President Trump’s policies are working for Americans everywhere, and the Hawaii Republican Party is excited to re-elect this president in 2020,” Frenzel said in the statement.
Kate Stanley, chairwoman of the Hawaii Democratic Party, said she doubts Trump has won over Hawaii voters. “I think he’s less popular than he probably was four years ago,” she said.
As for the decision to cancel the GOP preference poll in Hawaii, “I don’t think that helps the Republican Party. I think parties thrive when they have choices and appeal to a wider range of people,” she said. “I feel the Democratic party is doing that, and we have many active presidential candidates, and we’re attracting new members.”