Five incumbent Hawaii State House members, all endorsed by NFIB, were re-elected on November 4: Representatives Gene Ward, Aaron Johanson, Beth Fukumoto, Lauren Matsumoto and Cynthia Thielen.
These returning representatives have carried the message of small business at the State Capitol. Johanson, who serves as minority leader, and Ward, who is the minority leader emeritus and co-chaired the small-business caucus, were recognized at the 2014 NFIB Small Business Day at the Capitol.
In all, nine of 76 state legislators were either unseated or did not seat re-election.
A new governor, former state Sen. David Ige, was elected on a platform of change, unseating Democratic incumbent Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary. Ige, who has served as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, is expected to be fiscally more moderate than his immediate predecessor and credited a business-friendly approach to his broad base of support during the campaign.
Administrative leadership changes are expected to affect the legislative agendas of the state Department of Labor and the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. We anticipate increased focus on small-business issues.