Hawaii's Republican Representative Beth Fukumoto announced today that she is resigning completely from the Republican Party, capping off what has been a tumultuous two months for her after comments she made about President Trump. The move has not yet garnered any official statement from Fritz Rohlfing, the Hawaii Republican Chairman.

Fukumoto's comments on Trump and their fallout

In January at her speech during the Women's March in Honolulu after she called President Trump a "bully" and said that many of his comments were sexist and racist, having no place in the Republican Party.

She stated that members of her party decline to stop Trump's comments, specifically citing his suggestion to create a Muslim registry. She went on to mention her Japanese-American grandparents having to destroy their Japanese heritage to avoid being interned in the context of the GOP not standing up to Trump on the Muslim registry. After these comments, Fukumoto says that she got pressured to give up her role as Minority Leader in the Hawaii House of Representatives. In the end, her fellow conservatives voted her out of the position in February.

Hoping to switch sides

Yesterday, Beth Fukumoto resigned from the Republican Party after she sought feedback from her constituents on the issue. She said that of the 470-plus letters she received that more than 75% of them supported her leaving the party.

Fukumoto now hopes to join the Democratic Party. The leader of the Hawaii Democratic Party said that he is willing to give her a chance and other Democrats have supported her joining. However, other Democratic members her concerned about her past voting record on issues like civil rights, women's issues and gay marriage. The members of the Democratic Party on the island of Oahu will have to debate and vote on of they want to accept Fukumoto, but the process could take months. With Fukumoto's resignation from the Republicans, Hawaii's House of Representatives is now made up of 45 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and Fukumoto, who is now an independent.