Republican fund-raiser
takes on festive tone

The party has been re-energized
locally by its recent victory

Associated Press

Under the leadership of a Republican governor for the first time in four decades, the state Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner fund-raiser took on a festive tone thanks to a celebratory attitude carried over from the Nov. 5 general election.

An estimate 1,800 people packed the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Coral Ballroom for the annual event.

"It's still sort of a 'Pinch me, I can't believe it' feeling," Rep. Colleen Meyer (R, Laie-Kahaluu) said of the GOP's attitude under Gov. Linda Lingle. "We're all very happy as Republicans."

Brennon Morioka, interim state party chairman, said Lingle's victory also translated into the largest crowd ever gathered for the Lincoln Day Dinner. The party expected to raise close to $450,000 from the event, including sales from a silent auction and raffle.

"It's a lot bigger," he said. "There's a lot of new names coming in, but there's a lot of old names that are coming back because they feel re-energized," Morioka said. "They were there when times were tough for Republicans, and now they see the governor as a window for Republicans to actually come back and actually get things done."

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