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Convention Report: Hawaii Republican Party Selling HQ
By Selected News Articles @ 8:00 PM :: 1537 Views :: Republican Party

2024 Hawaii Republican Party Convention

by Boyd Ready

The 2024 Hawaii Republican Party Convention was held at the Mililani High School cafeteria on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, 2024. Two hundred thirty-two (232) delegates from all over the State were registered and attended.

Elections were held for National Committeeman and National Committeewoman. After a run-off round in each contest, incumbent Laura Nakanelua was re-elected National Committeewoman, and Nolan Chang was elected National Committeeman.

After opening ceremonies, State Chair Tamara McKay was elected Convention Chair, and Tiana Wilbur, Convention Secretary. Convention organizing documents were approved, after extended debates. The delegates decided not to more easily extend debate and decided not to allow amendments to proposed Rules changes. Minutes from the 2023 Convention in Hilo were not available in time to distribute, so the body voted to authorize the State Committee to approve this and subsequent Convention minutes, reserving the right to amend if necessary.

Chair McKay announced that after only a week on the market, the Hawaii Republican Party HQ condo has entered escrow to be sold off for $1.2M.

Representative Gene Ward, outgoing National Committeeman, and Laura Nakanelua, National Committeewoman, gave reports. NCM Ward concluded with the quip “Life is ono when you’re pono.”  NCW Nakanelua emphasized election integrity activities and contacts with national organizations’ leaders.

Rules Committee Chair Brett Kulbis reported a set of proposed Rules amendments to twenty-six (26) sections. The delegates voted to suspend the rule that debate on a committee’s recommendations be conducted by an impartial chair and Kulbis presided over the debate. The first two proposed amendments, regarding Party purpose and extending confidentiality requirements to committee appointees, were adopted by acclamation. The remaining 24 amendments proposed, including removing the voting rights of elected Republican officials and auxiliary officers, removing the term ‘temporary’ from appointed officers, and changing the Presidential caucus to winner-take-all, were defeated due to the repeated lack of a 2/3 majority needed to approve each rule change as the series of votes proceeded..

One hundred sixty-one (161) delegates attended the second day, and heard the presentation by House Minority Leader, Lauren Matsumoto, a Mililani High School graduate. She highlighted the Minority Caucus’ new town hall interactive survey methods resulting in their House legislative package responsive to people’s actual concerns. She noted a long list of bad bills that were stopped, and important bills passed for constituent communities. Especially effective was her video training on how to provide testimony, with production style reminding many of the enjoyable Hawaiian Air safety videos. Her successful 12-year tenure and reorganized Minority Caucus outreach contribute to her confidence in the Caucus’ goal to retain all incumbents and add new Republican legislators this year.

The parade of candidates included candidates for the US Senate and House, and many Hawaii State House and Senate seats. The election integrity committee report, Senate candidate Adriel Lam, included praise for Election Commissioner Ralph Cushnie who received a standing ovation.

The Platform Committee Chair, Mary Smart, introduced the 2025 Platform. Convention Chair McKay presided as the Platform was adopted, with eleven new bullets contributed by petitions from the delegates, debated one by one, and most adopted. The Committee proposed Resolutions were adopted without separate debate. The Convention voted to adjourn and concluded with a hand-holding circle of all delegates singing Hawai’i Aloha led by Delegate Chanara of Maui.


Related: Open Letter: Republican Delegates Should Reject Rule Changes


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