By B.J. Reyes
Jonah Kaauwai, the embattled chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party, formally resigned from the post this morning.
The Hawaii Republican Party announced his resignation in messages posted on the organization’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
Further details were not immediately available.
Word surfaced last week that several members of the party’s executive committee wanted to remove Kaauwai as chairman.
The email cited a party debt of nearly $100,000 and questioned Kaauwai’s ability to build a grass-roots organization and recruit candidates so the party can be competitive in the 2012 elections.
Last week, Kaauwai said he had been in discussions with party leaders on how best to proceed.
In an email to party members this morning, Kaauwai said he made the decision to resign “with a heart full of mixed emotions.”
Although many of you have encouraged me to fight on and remain as chair, my decision to resign provides a solution to the current stalemate and division within the party.
In Abraham Lincoln’s 1858 address to the Illinois Republican convention, he stated that: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” As the leader of our party, the overall unity and the inclusion of all principled groups within the party has been my objective. It was never my intent to divide members, only to identify and include new ones.
The overall health of the party is more important than any one person, issue, or candidate.
Beth Fukumoto, the party’s first vice chair, is the interim state chairwoman. Fukumoto works in the state House Minority Research office and handles the GOP’s coordinated campaign.