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HONOLULU – Beth Fukumoto, a candidate in the Democratic primary election for Hawaii’s First Congressional District, has called on her campaign volunteers to stop work on her campaign tomorrow, June 20, for one day. Instead, she has asked them to put their efforts behind a call to end President Donald Trump’s programs of separating children from their parents at the U.S. Mexico border.

In an email to supporters, Fukumoto said, “I am asking you to put all of your efforts behind pressing our government to stop the inhuman, anti-American practice of separating children from their families at the border. Whatever you would do for me—take to social media, make phone calls, send emails—turn that effort toward those in our government who have the power to end this. There will be time to campaign again, but now, we must join this fight over the soul of America.”

She also recounted the story of how her father, at the age of three, saw his father taken away by authorities “simply because he was Japanese. Decades later, my father remembers that terrifying moment in vivid detail.”

“How different could those days have been if people across America spoke out?” she continued.  “And what will future generations think about what we did to stop this Administration’s cruel warehousing of migrant children?”

She closed by saying, “America is better than this, but it is up to each of us to lead the way.”

In a statement, Fukumoto added, “I can’t ignore this national shame and pretend that my campaign is the most important thing on anybody’s calendar. I value my volunteers’ support and thank them every day for all they do, but for one day I am asking them to do something else. We all need to speak out against this unspeakable practice.”

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HONOLULU – The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly has endorsed Beth Fukumoto in the Democratic Primary to represent Hawaii’s First Congressional District.

In an email to Fukumoto announcing the endorsement, UHPA president Lynne Wilkins said that, “We are appreciative of the many qualities you demonstrated during your interview and your work at the legislature.  We believe they will serve UHPA and the University System as you continue to serve Hawai’i.”

Wilkins added, “Your grasp of Chapter 89, the Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board, pressing issues that impact the retention and retaining of UH faculty, along with the leadership skills you have always demonstrated, stood out above all of the other candidates for this office.”

“I am extremely proud and humbled to receive UHPA’s endorsement,” Fukumoto said. “As a proud UH graduate and member of this community, I value all that the University system represents, and the tremendous contribution to our community by their faculty and staff. I especially appreciate that even where we may not agree on a particular issue or measure, we agree that the faculty at UH deserve our respect and support, and we are willing to work together for the good of the university and our state.”

This was Fukumoto’s first major endorsement of this race.

Hawaii’s Primary Election is scheduled for Saturday, August 11, 2018

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HONOLULU – Beth Fukumoto, al candidate in Hawaii’s Democratic Primary for the state’s First Congressional District, today issued a strong rebuke to a comment by a local pundit on the ethnicity of the candidates in that race.

In the June 6, 2018 edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, commentator Dan Boylan stated that late-entrant and former Congressman Ed Case would be helped in the election because, “Five people in that race and not one of them is a haole [caucasian] at the moment, not one.”

Fukumoto, who is bi-racial, responded by saying, “In the 9th grade, a kid visiting Hawaii from Alabama told my friends he wouldn’t talk to me because I wasn’t ‘white enough.’ He said I was ‘worse than a full Asian’ because my Irish mom chose to ‘pollute her genes’ with my Japanese dad. Today I discovered, I’m still not ‘white enough.’

“Now Dan Boylan says my opponent will have an edge because he’s the first caucasian in the race.

“There’s a couple of problems with that. First, it’s divisive and uninformed. Voters will vote for the candidate that embodies their hopes for Hawaii, not the candidate that just looks most like them.

“Second, he’s wrong. My father is a Japanese American from Kalihi, and my mother is an Irish American from the Bronx. I’m proud to be both, and in the most diverse state in the nation, I should be easily accepted as both.”

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HONOLULU – Hawaii’s Beth Fukumoto—the outspoken young leader who made national news when she risked her political future by openly criticizing Donald Trump—has officially entered the Democratic Primary for Hawaii’s First Congressional District.

Joined by her parents and a group of supporters, Beth prepared her filing and took the candidate’s oath, in an effort to join the outstanding women who have represented Hawaii in Congress, including Patsy Mink, Pat Saiki, Mazie Hirono, Colleen Hanabusa, and Tulsi Gabbard.

“I am proud to step into this campaign and share my vision for our best future,” Beth said. “Hawaii’s residents know that it’s getting more difficult to stay, live and thrive here at home. Everything is feeling slightly out of reach for our local families, and we can’t afford to keep doing the same things the same way. We are living in a time of challenge and change, and Hawaii needs someone in Congress who is not afraid to stand up against entrenched interests, but also someone who has real legislative experience and demonstrated success working with others to get work done for the people who elect us.”

Undaunted by her competition, Beth said, “Coming into this, we knew we were facing deep pockets and big names that have been on the ballot since before I was old enough to vote. They’ve had their chance to tackle the challenges facing Hawaii. Yet, every year, we watch friends and family leave Hawaii because they can’t afford to stay. This election is our chance to do things differently. We know this will be a tough race. The biggest beneficiaries of the old ways of doing business are also the biggest funders of campaigns. We are ready to run a campaign that is on the ground and close to the people. We are confident there is a fire to be lit.”

Hawaii’s Primary Election will be held August 11, 2018.

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Honolulu — Hawaii Representative Beth Fukumoto, who gained national attention when she left the Republican party rather than temper her criticism of Donald Trump, has announced that she will run in the Democratic Primary for Hawaii’s First Congressional District.

In an email to supporters, Fukumoto said, “Your support has inspired me to find ways to amplify new voices, to fight against the status-quo, and to push back against the establishment to build a better future for Hawaii.”

Fukumoto continued, “I’m running because my family, like yours, knows what it’s like to struggle to make a living, to own a home, and to plan a future in a state that gets more expensive every year. We need leaders who understand the changing needs of Oahu’s working families and have demonstrated success in addressing them.”

Born and raised on Oahu, Fukumoto is the granddaughter of Japanese and Irish immigrants, and one of the few elected female AAPI voices on issues facing women and people of color nationally. Last year, she was the youngest female legislative leader in the country, and one of the first to speak out against President Trump.

“I believe the next person Hawaii sends to Congress must be ready to stand by our core values while making connections and navigating a toxic partisan divide to bring needed resources to our state. I am the only candidate in the race that has a proven record of courage, action and results.”

ABOUT BETH

First elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives in 2012, Beth Fukumoto was the youngest woman in the United States to hold a legislative caucus leader position. She was stripped of that title in response to her direct and unflinching opposition to President Trump at the Hawaii Women’s March, a sanction she readily accepted in order to stand by her values and speak out against injustice.

Citing racism, sexism and deep differences in values, Fukumoto left the Republican Party where she had been labelled a “Progressive Republican” for her efforts to end income inequality and push improvements to women’s health care. After a rigorous vetting process, the Democratic Party of Hawaii agreed that her values and votes aligned, and she became an official member of the party. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser named her “one of the most credible local critics of President Donald Trump.”

In a year when female minority voices were more important than ever, Fukumoto’s story gained broad national attention. She made appearances on Chelsea, Jim Jeffries Show, and Liz Plank’s Divided States of Women, and was featured in publications such as Elle, Slate, Wall Street Journal and Teen Vogue. A short documentary on Fukumoto’s decision to leave the Republican party, produced by The Outline, was nominated for an Ellie Award by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

Named one of the Washington Post’s “The Fix’s 40 under 40” rising political stars, Beth Fukumoto also received a James Madison Fellowship from the Millennial Action Project in recognition of her demonstrated success in transcending partisan lines, she also accepted an invitation to join the nonpartisan Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship Program, which has included both Tom Perez and Julian Castro.

The proud great-granddaughter of Japanese and Irish immigrants, Beth Fukumoto has risen to join the few elected female AAPI voices on issues facing women and minorities nationally. As a legislator, she has focused on increasing access to affordable housing, improving access to healthcare, closing the wage gap, ending income inequality, and fixing Hawaii’s aging infrastructure.

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