If you’ve ever faced public pressure for sticking to your principles, you will know how difficult it can be. For Hawaii state legislator Beth Fukumoto, staying true to herself meant leaving the Republican party and crossing the floor to the Democrats. It was a decision few elected politicians would even consider, let along follow through with, but backbone is something Fukumoto evidently has no shortage of.
Elected to the Hawaii state House of Representatives as a Republican in 2012, Fukumoto later becoming the youngest person ever to serve as House Minority Leader. In 2014, the Washington Post even named the young politician in their list of Top 40 under 40 Rising Political Stars.
But over the course of five years in office, the political climate and the Republican party’s attitude to key issues would change drastically. At the Hawaii state GOP convention in 2016, things came to a head when Fukumoto was practically booed off the stage for voicing her concern over Donald Trump’s attitude and behavior towards women and minority groups. Then came the Women’s March in Honolulu where Fukumoto gave a speech effectively calling the President “racist and sexist.”
“What ended up being very problematic for me,” she told NBC News, “was that my caucus and others said, ‘If you want to stay in leadership, then you need to make a commitment to not criticize the president for the remainder of his term.
And so, in March 2017, Fukumoto announced her plans to leave the Republican Party before being accepted into the Democratic Party a few months later.
A year later, Fukumoto announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. She faces a crowded field – 7 other Democrats have announced their candidacies so far – but she certainly it if political courage is valued by Hawaii Democrats she is sure to have the advantage at the polls on August 11th.
Under her campaign, she advocates for more widespread access to birth control and STI testing, affordable housing, the fight against opioid abuse and perhaps, above all, education.
If Fukumoto is successful in her bid, she will certainly make one of the chicest members of the US House of Representatives in Washington. For a moment let’s push politics to the side, and review some of her best style looks!
Booted in style
It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it, right? And if you can look stylish while doing so, all the better. Fukumoto gets the job done seated on the floor in a stylish ensemble of skinny black pants, a grey sweater and shiny black leather boots.
Farm-to-school funding is a concept that Fukumoto strives towards. She is seen here with students of Hawaii’s Mililani High School at the Capitol to lobby for fresh nutritious food as a staple for school lunches. Her outfit for the event is sleek and classic – a bright turquoise shift dress with a flattering twisted ruching detail along the front.
Style on duty
Another example of Fukumoto working to inspire young people. Here she is, addressing an AP Government class at the Saint Francis School on politics and the value of civic engagement. She is the picture of professional poise in a sleek black pencil skirt plus a simple dark grey sweater and ankle-strap heels – all topped off with a typically Hawaiian flower garland around her neck.
Pink for the win – Beth Fukumoto
Stylish and poised – it’s just another day in the life of an up-and-coming legislator. Beth Fukumoto stopped by the KITV Channel 4 Island News studios to discuss ways to be constructive in politics. Her outfit choice perfectly matched the occasion – a tailored power suit in brilliant bright pink.
Fukumoto poses with a young volunteer, a sixth grader awarded for his innovative approach to disaster preparedness. To mark the occasion, she selected a high-waisted black pencil skirt with a bright red top and black T-bar heels. Classic and sophisticated – the perfect professional combination.