BY MICHELE VAN HESSEN – House Republicans selected Representative Gene Ward Ph.D. as Minority Leader and Representative Kymberly Pine will continue to serve as the Minority Floor Leader. Cynthia Thielen remains the Assistant Minority Leader, Corinne Ching will be the Assistant Minority Floor Leader and Barbara Marumoto will be the Minority Policy Leader. The three freshman George Fontaine, Aaron Johanson and Gil Riviere will serve as Whips.
Minority Leader Representative Gene Ward said, “Our new Caucus is excited and united and ready to do the people’s business, particularly regarding fiscal responsibility and job creation in the 2011 Session. We are very pleased to have grown 33 1/3 percent representing the first net-gain in the size of caucus in 10 years. The tide is changing in the House and we have added three exceptional new members in Aaron Johanson, George Fontaine, and Gil Riviere. It’s an honor to be elected the leader of the Minority Caucus and together we have the privilege and awesome responsibility of being the voice for over 40% of the people of Hawaii who voted last Tuesday.”
“I am so excited that I’ll be working with Gene Ward. He is an amazing leader; and the new freshman are so bright and bring so much to the table,” said Minority Floor Leader Representative Kymberly Pine
The leaders serve as the spokespersons for their party and manage the schedule of the caucus legislative and executive business. House Republicans will rally for an accountable government and better solutions for the challenges that face Hawaii’s citizens and visitors.
Republicans hold 8 seats in the 51-seat House of Representatives. The new leadership will determine what actions they will take to influencing policies and the gain of additional seats in the 2012 elections.