"When I joined the Republican Party eight years ago, I did so with a group of people my age who were full of hope, ideas and energy", Fukumoto said in a news release.
Hawaii lawmaker Beth Fukumoto, ousted last month as Republican leader of the state's House of Representatives after publicly criticizing President Donald Trump, resigned on Wednesday from her party to seek membership as a Democrat. "That was a promise I simply could not make". "So we started working together and began winning battles to create more transparency in government and reduce the cost of living".
Fukumoto was described as one of the Republican party's rising stars. "But I want to assure my constituents that I will continue to uphold the convictions that I have always demonstrated, regardless of my political affiliation", said Rep. Fukumoto.
But she was stripped of that title about two months ago after her speech at the Women's March criticizing President Trump upset the GOP.
Fukumoto is now seeking membership within the Democratic party.
"I wanted very badly to see the Republican Party denounce his comments, and that didn't happen", she told Reuters, saying a Muslim registry struck her as "one step away" from internment camps. "I, at the time, had said this is not, this should not reflect our party".
The GOP has only five elected Republican officials in Hawaii, according to Thielen, and all of them are in the state House of Representatives. She added that she had been criticized after participating in Honolulu's Women's March on January 21, but would not stop speaking out against the bigotry and racism that the Republican Party has become associated with (mostly thanks to President Trump, 70).
"They told me it was just rhetoric", she wrote, referring to her party members. "I am saddened and dismayed when there are power struggles by self-serving politicians and when the greater good of my party - as it was originally founded - is sacrificed by a few modern-day evangelists".
Fukumoto said that after speaking out about Trump's treatment of minorities and women, she was censured instead of listened to. It's clear that this was a decision she did not come by lightly, and that she believes this decision is not only best for her, but also in the best interest of her constituents.
Like Fukumoto, Johanson (he represents the Moanalua, Red Hill, Aliamanu a Foster Village area on Oahu) was derided by fellow Republicans for being too collaborative with Democrats. In 2014, State Representative Aaron Johanson left the GOP to become a Democrat. "Those that consider my voting record will find that it aligns more closely with the Democratic Party platform than the records of some elected Democrats", she said.