BY STAN FICHTMAN – After a long period of contemplation as to my political, governmental and social values, I have come to the decision to withdraw my membership in the Republican Party and become an “independent” at this time and I have asked the chairman to formally withdraw my name from the Hawaii Republican party roster.

This decision comes with a heavy heart, as there are a number of current members who I refer to as old and close friends. However, personal affiliations aside, I have come to the realization that, at this time, the Republican Party in Hawaii does not truly speak to my values, as either a party member or as a voter.

While I understand that no one political party will be a perfect fit for any one voter, I can no longer ignore the expanding estrangement I feel between myself and the Hawaii Republican Party.

This estrangement did not come about overnight, but over a period of years. During this time, I slowly realized that my overall political beliefs, which can be encompassed somewhat in the Hawaiian philosophy of Hoʻoponopono and in the philosophy that Ambassador Jon Huntsman held in the Chinese phrase “Hu Xiang Bang Zhu” (“help each other”) was becoming less and less compatible with the “all or nothing” viewpoints presented by party members and leadership.

At the end, it would be the questioning of my party loyalty that leads me to this decision to end my party membership.