BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN– With many new political candidates throughout the state holding fundraisers to support their campaigns, one candidate is trying a creative approach bring in attendees to her fundraiser Thursday night.
Liz Larson, a Republican candidate for State Senate, will host a “Dancing with the candidate” fundraising event at a home in Manoa. Larson, who is challenging incumbent Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria this November 6 in hopes of representing Waikiki, Kakaako, Ala Moana and Downtown, was a competitive ballroom dancer in college and toured the world with her dance troupe.
“It will be a fun event at a beautiful home in Manoa with dancing, socializing, and pupus. Gentlemen and ladies can get personal dance instruction as Daniel Ng, an experienced dancer here in Hawaii, will be helping me. We will have a variety of music, from Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Cha-Cha, Swing, Rumba, and Samba,” Larson said.
Larson began her dance training when she was a young girl.
“I was trained in Ballet at a young age but did not start Ballroom Dancing until I was 16 years old. My first dance partner, Glen Larson, is now my brother-in-law and was the reason I met my husband, Steve. I competed a little in highschool, but did not compete seriously until I was in college. I was a member of the Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Team and toured the world, visiting 11 countries, including South Africa, China, Mongolia, Eastern Russia, and Scandinavia.”
She competed all over the United States and twice at the world’s largest ballroom dance competition in Blackpool England.
“I placed 5th in the nation at the USABDA National 10 dance competition in 2000. The 10 dance competition is for dancers who are proficient in all 10 ballroom dance styles: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz, Cha-cha, Samba, Rumba, Triple Swing, and Paso Doble.” Last year, she was in a Rumba exhibition with Carlos Chang, a resident Latin dance professional and world famous performer. (See their rumba at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmls8-fYRZM/)
Larson has been campaigning as a pro-business candidate who will work to reduce taxes and mandates on business and advocate for Hawaii taxpayers, said she also wanted to share with her supporters a part of her life that always brings fun, excitement and joy.
“It is a time to relax and have fun,” Larson said.
Larson is charging less than many candidates, just $40. Some candidates in Hawaii have charged as much as $6,000 for fundraisers, particularly in the higher profile races.
The Hawaii State Senate has just one Republican – Sen. Sam Slom – in its 25-member body. Larson hopes she can be elected and strengthen the Republican base in the legislature.
Her opponent, Brickwood Galuteria, is a well known radio personality who also sings. He’s served as the head of the Democratic Party in Hawaii.
Larson is under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead – she has been aggressively campaigning and is hopeful, not only because she believes she will be an effective voice in the legislature, but also because her district has been represented by Republicans in the past.