State Rep. Beth Fukumoto has been the house minority leader in Hawaii since 2012 and is looking to possibly switch to the other side after her colleagues voted to remove her from her as minority leader for participating in the women’s march in protest of Donald Trump.
According to NPR member station Hawaii Public Radio, Fukumoto’s colleagues reportedly ousted her from her position “because she participated in the women’s march protesting the Trump presidency.” Fukumoto has made clear her dislike of the president and his behavior towards women. NPR reports that at Hawaii’s Women’s March, she shared a story about how her own colleagues “booed and insulted” her at the Republican Convention for her refusal to endorse Trump’s candidacy.
Fukumoto described the situation that led to her ouster as such:
“They told me they would keep me in this position if I would commit to not disagreeing with our president for the remainder of his term. Mr. Speaker, I’m being removed because I refused to make that commitment, because I believe it’s our job as Americans and as leaders in this body to criticize power when power is wrong.”
Earlier this week in the House chamber, Fukumoto’s colleague state Rep. Bob McDermott challenged Fukumoto’s previous statements about Trump, saying “You are speaking not for yourself anymore. It is a high-level responsibility.” The only House Republican in Hawaii that defended Fukumoto’s and voted in favor of her keeping her position was Rep. Cynthia Thielen, who said “God I am sorry to lose our minority leader, someone I so deeply, deeply respect — the face of Republicanism as it should be, but it won’t be any more.”