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Kaua‘i Democrats set for state stage

Members of the Kaua‘i Democratic Party held their convention Saturday in preparation for the big show in a few weeks: the Hawai‘i Democratic State Convention.

“We had a good turnout,” said Linda Estes, chair of the Kaua‘i Democratic Party. “Everybody’s excited about the presidential election.”

The Hawai‘i State Convention is scheduled for May 23 to May 25 in Honolulu.

Hawai‘i will have 29 delegates plus four alternates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August.

The district-level delegates will be chosen during the state convention and all others will be selected by the State Central Committee after the state

convention.

Those delegates will represent the state of Hawai‘i during the national convention in August.

After discussing party rules at the Kaua‘i convention, Bond said everyone broke out into groups to discuss resolutions of local and national importance.

“We talked about rule changes here on Kaua‘i,” Bond said. “Then we amended and approved resolutions. After the break out groups, everybody got updates and we voted as a whole body.”

Then the group broke out again for delegate training, Bond said. Attendees learned the ins-and-outs of being a delegate for the upcoming state convention.

Richard Coffman was presented with a plaque in recognition for his many years of work with the party.

According to Bond, Kaua‘i Democratic Party District 15 chair Carl Wright and Betty Matsumura were selected as State Central Committee Representatives and Andrew Templeman was selected as the County Committee Youth Representative.

Sen. Gary Hooser and representatives Mina Morita and Jimmy Tokioka were in attendance to update everyone on recent legislation in the Senate and the House, Bond said.

Also in attendance was former state representative Brian Schatz. Schatz is currently a candidate for the Hawai‘i State Democratic Chairman seat.

“I really appreciated that he came,” said Roxanne McCann, first-time Democratic delegate. “He came without obligation. He didn’t come to speak, he just came.”

McCann added that she felt it was a big deal for Schatz to come and take the time to support the Kaua‘i convention.

Bond added that one of the most inspiring things about the convention was the new Democrats and youth in attendance.

“Seeing the young people there and their desire to focus on a particular candidate was exciting,” Bond said. “The enthusiasm the new people bring vitalizes the party and others.”

Estes said she felt a sense of unity with the Democrats at the Kaua‘i convention.

“It was the best convention I have been to since I have been on Kaua‘i — there was just a feeling of excitement in the air,” Estes said. “In the past, it was hard to get delegates. Now people are dying to go to the state convention. We almost have a full slate.”

• Rachel Gehrlein, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or rgehrlein@kauaipubco.com.

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