Hawai‘i’s Republican and Democratic parties decry politician

Both the Republican and Democratic parties in Hawai‘i have rejected contentious candidate Angela Aulani Kaaihue, who is seeking election in two separate races, representing each party.

The Hawaii Republican Party has “terminated the membership of” Kaaihue, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representative in Hawai‘i’s Second Congressional District.

Hawaii Republican Party Chair Fritz Rohlfing said in a Aug. 28 statement that the decision regarding Kaaihue, who won the Republican primary Aug. 13 in her bid to challenge Democrat incumbent Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, was “based on her public statements on social media that she is ‘not a Republican.’ Additionally, Ms. Kaaihue has filed as a Democrat in the upcoming Special Election for the remainder of the term of the late U.S. Representative Mark Takai in Congressional District 1.”

Kaaihue has also announced that she is seeking election to fill the late Rep. Mark Takai’s seat.

A special election will be held to fill the remainder of Takai’s term. He died July 20 after battling cancer.

Kaaihue has been criticized for using campaign signs stating “I’m healthy, I’m cancer-free!”

She has also been heavily criticized for having made anti-Nikkei comments. Hawaii News Now reported Aug. 20 that Kaaihue has apologized for having posted anti-Nikkei comments on Facebook, that included the use of the slur “Jap,” which have since been deleted.

“I truly regret posting that about Japanese people. I don’t think all Japanese people are bad, I just think that the non-Christian Japanese people,” Kaaihue said in a phone interview with the news outlet.

It further reported that the rant called people of Japanese descent “conspirators (and) stealers.”

Nevertheless, Kaaihue issued a statement on her Website Aug. 23 that states, “The Japz have landed and they’ve taken over!!” It also states that Hawai‘i is run by “Japanese Buddhists leaders, our governor, lt. governor, U.S. Senators, Congressional Representatives are mostly Japanese, and everything but Christians including Incumbant CongressWoman Tulsi Gabbard who is seeking reelection this fall, and is the 1st Hindu that Hawaii ever appointed to the Whitehouse in 2012. This is a threat to our nation’s security.”

Gabbard is a Hindu.

Rohlfing had earlier denounced Kaaihue’s statements in a separate statement issued Aug. 19.

“As chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party, I want it understood by the general public and the media that the recent inflammatory comments made by candidate for Congress (CD2) Angela Kaaihue do not represent the views, values, or the sentiments of our Party and its members. Her vulgar, racially-bigoted, and religiously-intolerant descriptions of Democratic Party candidates are offensive, shameful, and unacceptable in public discourse. I unconditionally denounce her despicable statements. I strongly urge all Hawaii Republicans to join me in disavowing her candidacy.”

Alexander Wheeler of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i confirmed to the Nichi Bei Weekly that it intends to file a complaint with the First Circuit Court regarding Kaaihue because she is “no longer a member of the DPH.”

Kaaihue was a member of the party “until filing to run as a Republican. Under our Bylaws this is grounds for immediate explusion,” Wheeler wrote in an e-mail.

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