Sam Slom, the Hawaii Senate’s Dot of Red in a Sea of Blue

The state's only Republican senator jokes about how he can "caucus with myself," but he has serious views on making the GOP relevant here.
By Chrystèle Bossu-Ragis /

Outnumbered by Democrats 24-1, Sen. Sam Slom can’t even make a motion on the state Senate floor without a Democrat’s help; otherwise it will die for lack of a second.

Representing Senate District 9 in east Honolulu, he’s been the chamber’s lone Republican since 2010 and is good-natured about constituting the Senate’s entire GOP caucus. But he gets serious when talking about how his party could gain a stronger toehold in the islands — and it’s not by becoming more moderate.

Civil Beat’s Eric Pape caught up with Slom recently at the Capitol as he played host to some third-graders and then sat down in his office to talk about his political lot in life.

Hit the play button to hear the discussion or subscribe to the Civil Beat Podcast on iTunes.

Click here to read a transcript of the Sam Slom interview.

Sen. Sam Slom answers questions from Mokulele Elementary School third-graders during their visit to the Capitol on Oct. 2.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

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