Hawaii GOP sees good omen in mainland victories


POSTED: Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hawaii Republicans hope the GOP victories this week in New Jersey and Virginia will buoy their own campaigns next year.

GOP Chairman Jonah Kaauwai said Wednesday that the Republican wins in the two mainland governors' races show that people are not responding to Democrats or President Barack Obama.

“;People who are traditionally Democrats are telling us the taxes are too high and the educational system is bad,”; Kaauwai said during a telephone news conference. “;It is Obama's policies, the expansion of the deficit and the increase in the bureaucracy. It is a liberal agenda getting pushed on people.”;

Although the state's GOP controls only eight seats in the state Legislature, Kaauwai said Lt. Gov. James “;Duke”; Aiona, who is running for governor, and Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou, who is running for Congress, are two Republicans who appear strong.

“;We are looking forward to 2010,”; Kaauwai said. “;It is a launching point. The Republican values are the only values that will take Hawaii out of the doldrums, politically and socially.”;

In response, Brian Schatz, Hawaii's Democratic Party chairman, said the local GOP is “;getting overly excited about mainland political developments.

“;Most people in Hawaii are not concerned about what happens politically in New Jersey or Virginia,”; Schatz said.

The local voter, according to Schatz, is more concerned with restoring Hawaii's public school schedule and the economy.

“;The party that will be successful is the one that can articulate a way to navigate through this difficult economic period,”; Schatz said.