By Susan Halas
Republicans on Maui participated Tuesday night in a statewide caucus to help select their party’s presidential candidate.
At 6 p.m. the American flag was waving in the gusty breeze and about 50 people stood in line at the Wailuku Elementary School. They were waiting to cast their ballot for one of four GOP candidates: Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum.
By the time the balloting was finished a total of 154 votes had been cast, according to Lisa Gapero, Maui District 8 chair, who coordinated the effort in Wailuku. Although Romney was declared the winner statewide, in Wailuku Santorum finished on top.
Gaspero said the unofficial totals for Wailuku were Santorum-39; Paul-29, Romney-27 and Gingrich-26.
There were also 33 provisional ballots cast which needed further verification. She was encouraged by the turn-out saying there were “so many people we ran out of registration forms.”
She also said this morning that turn out was strong in other Maui districts as well, reporting that the District 11-12 caucus, which included Haiku, Pukalani and Makawao, had over 300 voters.
Although the event was limited to Republican party members, Gaspero focused on the importance of the nominating process saying, “It’s not about party, it’s about making America great.